Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science

First Advisor

Richard M. Voyles, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Corinne Lengsfeld

Third Advisor

Siavash Pourkamali

Fourth Advisor

Kimon P. Valavanis


Robotics, Bulk motive force actuators, Heterogeneous drive vehicles


The smaller the robot the easier it is for it to access voids in a collapsed structure, however small size brings a host of other problems related to constrained resources. One of the primary constraints on small robots is limited motive power to surmount obstacles and navigate rough terrain. This thesis examines the addition of bulk motive force actuators to existing locomotion platforms and the impact of these heterogeneous actuators on conventional steering methods. The steering methods examined are those associated with skid steered vehicles and differential drive vehicles. In developing the Crabinator, a robot composed of a limbed crawler module and a single track drive module, it appeared that the resulting robot did not fit in the regime of differential drive. For that reason the heterogeneous differential drive class was developed. Similarly for the water hammer active tether module this system also did not appear to be a heterogeneous differential drive or skid steered vehicles. This system turned out to be even more general hence the more general class of heterogeneous drive vehicles which has input of accelerations rather then velocities as the previously mentioned classes.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Roy Godzdanker


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

83 p.