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This paper discusses the design of a modular drive system for a planetary rover, and presents the testing and thermal monitoring results to validate the design. A rover, Oryx 2.0, is designed and developed to serve as a research platform that can transport payloads over rough terrain. One of the key design features is the modular drive system. The mechanical design, communications and control interfaces are discussed. Moreover, EPOS2 motion controllers by Maxon Motor are explored as motor controllers for the drive system as they provide an easy-to-use high level motor control functionality. The paper will outline step-by-step instructions for setting up the EPOS2 libraries and drivers in Linux/Robot Operating System (ROS) environment. The details of testing procedures and results for the motor modules are also provided.
Date of Conference: 23-24 April 2012