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Dynamic Weight-Shifting to Reduce Rollover Risk in High Speed Mobile Manipulators

[+] Author Affiliations
Justin G. Storms, Dawn M. Tilbury

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Paper No. DSCC2014-6302, pp. V003T48A006; 10 pages
  • ASME 2014 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference
  • Volume 3: Industrial Applications; Modeling for Oil and Gas, Control and Validation, Estimation, and Control of Automotive Systems; Multi-Agent and Networked Systems; Control System Design; Physical Human-Robot Interaction; Rehabilitation Robotics; Sensing and Actuation for Control; Biomedical Systems; Time Delay Systems and Stability; Unmanned Ground and Surface Robotics; Vehicle Motion Controls; Vibration Analysis and Isolation; Vibration and Control for Energy Harvesting; Wind Energy
  • San Antonio, Texas, USA, October 22–24, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4620-9
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Small unmanned ground vehicles risk rollover at high speeds. This paper proposes use of a manipulator arm on the robot in a dynamic weight-shifting arrangement to reduce rollover risk. A simple linear control law for dynamic weight-shifting of the manipulator arm is proposed. A linear dynamic model is used to analyze the effect of the arm design (link length, mass, etc.) on the roll dynamics, and a more complex nonlinear simulation in Simulink SimMechanics is used to evaluate roll reduction for various steering angles and velocities. Simulations given the same steering input with dynamic weight-shifting showed a roll reduction factor of 12%. For the same radius turn, a roll reduction factor of 29% was observed. A 50% reduction in steering angle was used to achieve a similar turning radius with dynamic weight-shifting activated. By increasing rollover stability, dynamic weight-shifting has the potential to increase safe operating speeds for mobile robots.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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