Recent Developments in the Robotic All Terrain Lunar Exploration Rover (RATLER) Program

by P. R. Klarer, Sandia Natl Lab, Albuquerque, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Robotics for Challenging Environments


The Robotic All-Terrain Lunar Exploration Rover (RATLER) is a four wheeled all-wheel-drive dual-body vehicle. A uniquely simple method of chassis articulation is employed which allows all four wheels to remain in contact with the ground, even while climbing over step-like obstacles as large as 1.3 wheel diameters. The RATLER design concept began at Sandia National Laboratories in late 1991 with a series of small, proof-of-principle, working scale models. The models proved the viability of the concept for high mobility through mechanical simplicity, and eventually received internal funding at Sandia National Laboratories for full scale, proof-of-concept prototype development. Whereas the proof-of-principle models demonstrated the mechanical design's capabilities for mobility, the full scale proof-of-concept design currently under development is intended to support field operations for experiments in telerobotics, autonomous robotic operations, telerobotic field geology, and advanced man-machine interface concepts. The development program's current status is described, including an outline of the program's work over the past year, recent accomplishments, and plans for follow-on development work.

Subject Headings: Robotics | Terrain | Aircraft and spacecraft | Vehicles | Equipment and machinery | Control systems | Financing | Geology

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