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Simple autonomous Mars walkerUnder a contract with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Martin Marietta has developed several alternative rover concepts for unmanned exploration of the planet Mars. One of those concepts, the 'Walking Beam', is the subject of this paper. This concept was developed with the goal of achieving many of the capabilities of more sophisticated articulated-leg walkers with a much simpler, more robust, less computationally demanding and more power efficient design. It consists of two large-base tripods nested one within the other which alternately translate with respect to each other along a 5-meter beam to propel the vehicle. The semiautonomous navigation system relies on terrain geometry sensors and tacticle feedback from each foot to autonomously select a path which avoids hazards along a route designated from earth. Both mobility and navigation features of this concept are discussed including a top-level description of the vehicle's physical characteristics, deployment strategy, mobility elements, sensor suite, theory of operation, navigation and control processes, and estimated performance.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Larimer, Stanley J.
(Martin Marietta Corp. Denver, CO, United States)
Lisec, Thomas R.
(Martin Marietta Corp. Denver, CO, United States)
Spiessbach, Andrew J.
(Martin Marietta Corp. Astronautics Group, Denver, CO, United States)
Date Acquired
August 14, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1989
Subject Category
Ground Support Systems And Facilities (Space)
Meeting Information
Meeting: Mobile Robots III
Location: Cambridge, MA
Country: United States
Start Date: November 10, 1988
End Date: November 11, 1988
Sponsors: SPIE
Accession Number
Distribution Limits

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