HumAnS Lab


About the SnoMotes I & II

SnoMotes I

To endow a rover with an inherent all-terrain drive system for navigation in Arctic environments, a 1/10 scale snowmobile chassis was selected for our prototype platform. The platform was modified to include an ARM-based processor running a specialized version of Linux. The motherboard offered several serial standards for communication, in addition to wifi and bluetooth. A daughterboard provided an ADC unit and PWM outputs for controlling servos. The drive system was modified to accept PWM motor speed commands, and the steering control was replaced with a high-torque servo. For ground truth position logging, a GPS unit connects to the processor via the bluetooth interface, while robot state and camera images are sent directly to an external control computer via the wifi link. To simulate the science objectives of a mobile sensor network, a weather- oriented sensor suite was added to the rover. The deployed instrument suite includes sensors to measure temperature, barometric pressure, and relative humidity.


SnoMotes II

The main reason tracked vehicles are used for snow traversal is the large
area of the track distributes the vehicle weight, allowing it to “float” on
the surface. Due to the discovered mobility issues with the original
platform, a set of chassis modifications were designed and implemented. The
original front suspension mechanism was replaced by a passive
double-wishbone system, increasing the ski-base over 30%. The rear track
system was replaced with a custom, dual-track design, which both widened the
rear footprint and effectively doubled the snow contact surface area. A 500
W brushless motor and high-current speed controller drive the new track
system. The overall increase in the platform width drastically improved
the platform’s stability and role characteristics.





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Walker Version 1 Snowmotes Version 3 and 4 Feild Trials