Motion planning for a six-legged lunar robot

Kris Hauser, Timothy Bretl, Jean Claude Latombe, Brian Wilcox

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper studies the motion of a large and highly mobile six-legged lunar vehicle called ATHLETE, developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This vehicle rolls on wheels when possible, but can use the wheels as feet to walk when necessary. While gaited walking may suffice for most situations, rough and steep terrain requires novel sequences of footsteps and postural adjustments that are specifically adapted to local geometric and physical properties. This paper presents a planner to compute these motions that combines graph searching techniques to generate a sequence of candidate footfalls with probabilistic sample-based planning to generate continuous motions to reach them. The viability of this approach is demonstrated in simulation on several example terrains, even one that requires rappelling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAlgorithmic Foundation of Robotics VII - Selected Contributions of the Seventh International Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event7th International Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics, WAFR 2006 - New York, NY, United States
Duration: Jul 16 2006Jul 18 2006

Publication series

NameSpringer Tracts in Advanced Robotics
ISSN (Print)1610-7438
ISSN (Electronic)1610-742X


Other7th International Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics, WAFR 2006
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York, NY

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


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