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EELS-DARTS: a Planetary Snake Robot Simulator for Closed-Loop Autonomy Development

EasyChair Preprint no. 13577

2 pagesDate: June 6, 2024


EELS-DARTS is a simulator designed for autonomy development and analysis of large degree of freedom snake-like robots for space exploration. A detailed description of the EELS-DARTS simulator design is presented. This includes the versatile underlying multibody dynamics representation used to model a variety of distinct snake robot configurations as well as an anisotropic friction model for describing screw-ice interaction. Additional simulation components such as graphics, importable terrain, joint controllers, and perception are discussed. Methods for setting up and running simulations are discussed, including how the snake robot’s autonomy stack closes the commands and information loop with the simulation via ROS. Multiple use cases are described to illustrate how the simulation is used to aid and inform robot design, autonomy development and field test use throughout the project’s life cycle. A validation analysis of the screw-ice contact model is performed for the surface mobility case. Lastly, an overview of simulation use for planning operations during a recent field test to the Athabasca Glacier in Canada is discussed

Keyphrases: contact, DARTS, graphics, JPL, Mobility, Multibody dynamics, NASA, perception, Robotics, simulation

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Tristan Hasseler and Carl Leake and Aaron Gaut and Asher Elmquist and Robert Swan and Robert Royce and Bryson Jones and Benjamin Hockman and Michael Paton and Guglielmo Daddi and Masahiro Ono and Rohan Thakker and Abhinandan Jain},
  title = {EELS-DARTS: a Planetary Snake Robot Simulator for Closed-Loop Autonomy Development},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 13577},

  year = {EasyChair, 2024}}
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