IRIS-96-356

MENO: A Quadruped Microrover 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 legged robot (called MENO) that was 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 two wheeled planetary rovers (called Marscar and Arnold) as part of this project. For a technical description of Marscar and Arnold the reader is referred to the companion report IRIS-TR-355.