Title page for ETD etd-05122008-132412

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Farmer, Jesse Lee
URN etd-05122008-132412
Title Kinematic Analysis Of A Two Body Articulated Robotic Vehicle
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Wicks, Alfred L. Committee Chair
Reinholtz, Charles F. Committee Co-Chair
Hong, Dennis W. Committee Member
  • Kinematic Model
  • Kinematic Simulation
  • Four-Bar Linkage
  • Vehicle Offtracking
Date of Defense 2008-04-29
Availability unrestricted
The kinematic analysis of an articulated twin body, four-wheel, robotic vehicle is

presented. Polaris, a research platform and contending robotic vehicle in the Intelligent

Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC) at Virginia Tech, was redesigned in 2006 to improve

the mobility of the vehicle by incorporating an innovative four-bar linkage that connects

the two bodies. The new linkage design minimizes vehicle off-tracking by allowing the

rear wheels to closely track the path of the front wheels. This thesis will outline the theoretical

kinematic model of the four-bar linkage as applied to a twin-bodied, differentially

driven vehicle. The kinematic model is validated through computer simulation as well as

experimentation on a fully operational robotic vehicle. The kinematic model presented

here outlines the foundations for an autonomous, four-wheel drive, multi-body control

system and opens avenues for dynamically controlling the tracking of the vehicle’s rear

body with an actuated linkage configuration.

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