For a robot to navigate in terrains of rough and uneven topographies, its drives and controllers must generate and control large mechanical power with great precision. This paper is aimed at developing an autonomous robot with active-suspensions in form of a hybrid quadrupedal-wheel drive mechanism. This involves a computational approach to optimizing the development cost without compromising the system’s performance. Using the Solidworks CAD tool, auxiliary components were designed and integrated with the bed structure to form an actively suspended robot drive mechanism. Also, using the S-Math Computing tool, the robot’s suspension system was optimized, employing a four-bar mechanism. To enhance the compatibility of this design with the intended controller, some mathematical equations and numerical validations were formulated and solved. These included the modeling of tip-over stability and skid steering, the trendline equations for computing the angular positions of the suspension servomotors, and the computation of R2– values for determining the accuracy of these trendline equations. Using finite element analysis (FEA), we simulated the structural integrity of key sub-components of the final structure. The results show that our mechanical design is appropriate for developing an actively suspended robot that can efficiently navigate in different terrestrial sites and topographies.
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