Development of a Control System for a Skid-Steer Amphibious Vehicle

Michael Clarke, Tom Blanchard

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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With the increase in use of autonomous robotic systems for various tasks, including research projects, their ability to operate away from their ideal laboratory environment comes into question. Whilst long term autonomous robotic platforms do exist in various forms, few provide all-terrain manoeuvrability, particularly with skid-steering mechanisms. This paper aims to show the development of an all-terrain robotic platform based on an ARGO 6x6 amphibious petrol- powered skid-steer vehicle. The design and development of a control system, including software and hardware, is discussed. It is shown that the control of such a vehicle is possible with a reasonably high level of precision and with relatively low cost components, suggesting that with more expensive hardware or different control techniques, high-precision control might be possible. Further, it is shown that based on the various characteristics of the robotic platform such as throttle values, wheel rotations and turn rates it is possible to classify, with some level of accuracy, the varying surfaces allowing for future work towards adaptive control systems with the ability to adjust autonomously their tuning parameters, and thus performance, as the robot moves from one unknown environment to another.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages41
Publication statusPublished - 02 Sept 2010


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