Marscar and Arnold: Wheeled Rovers for Planetary Exploration

Gaurav S. Sukhatme, Scott Brizius, Scott Cozy and George A. Bekey

In January 1994 the rover benchmarking project was initiated at USC with support from JPL. The aim of the project is to develop metrics to compare the mobility performance of wheeled and legged robots over (what is currently believed to be) Martian terrain. In this note we concentrate on providing a technical description of the wheeled robots (called Marscar and Arnold) that were used in doing the physical testing that formed an integral part of this project. We also describe the metrology system and the Martian surface testbed developed in our lab for testing. In addition to this effort we have also built and tested a legged planetary rover as part of this project. For a technical description of MENO the reader is referred to the companion report IRIS-TR-356.