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As the operational uses of mobile robots continue to expand, it becomes useful to be able to predict the admissible maneuvering space to prevent the robot from executing unsafe maneuvers. A novel method is proposed to address this need by using force-moment diagrams to characterize the robot’s maneuvering space in terms of path curvature and curvature rate. Using the proposed superposition techniques, these diagrams can then be transformed in real-time to provide a representation of the permissible maneuvering space while allowing for changes in the robot’s loading and terrain conditions. Simulation results indicate that the technique can be applied to determine the appropriate maneuvering space for a given set of loading conditions, longitudinal acceleration, and tire-ground coefficient of friction. This may lead to potential expansion in the ability to integrate predictive vehicle dynamics into autonomous controllers for mobile robots and a corresponding potential to safely increase operating speeds.

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Journal of Terramechanics

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Originally published in the Journal of Terramechanics 50.2 (2013): 85-97.

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