ORYX 2.O: A Planetary Exploration Mobility Platform

MQP Team:

  • Joseph Amato
  • Jon Anderson
  • Thomas Carlone
  • Michael Fagan  

Advisors:

  • Taskin Padir
  • Kenneth Stafford  

ORYX 2.0 is a modular mobility platform designed for operation on rough terrain to facilitate space related technology research and Earth based exploration missions. Currently there are no low-cost rovers available to academia or industry, making it difficult to conduct research and testing related to surface exploration. ORYX 2.0 fills this gap by serving as a platform that can operate in analog Martian or lunar environments, and can withstand harsh Earth conditions while also providing users with many features to simplify payload integration. A standard mechanical and electrical interface aids in this process, and the use of Robot Operating System (ROS) provides a well-known software architecture for research platforms. A passive kinematic averaging suspension provides excellent mobility over obstacles in addition to improving stability and even weight distribution. The rover chassis is sealed to provide all electronics with environmental protection from dust and water. Extended field testing was done to evaluate both the mobility aspects of the rover and its ability to integrate and transport payloads. Mobility performance far exceeded expectations, with ORYX 2.0 climbing obstacles up to three times its intended limits. Multiple teleoperated field testing trials on a variety of terrains validated the rover’s ruggedness and ability to operate soundly over long periods. Lastly, a sample payload in the form of a deployable camera boom was designed, built, and tested in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of payload integration features. Learn more...

 
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