Slip compensation for a mars rover

Daniel M. Helmick, Yang Cheng, Daniel S. Clouse, Max Bajracharya, Larry H. Matthies, Stergios I. Roumeliotis

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

38 Scopus citations


A system that enables continuous slip compensation for a Mars rover has been designed, implemented, and field-tested. This system is composed of several components that allow the rover to accurately and continuously follow a designated path, compensate for slippage, and reach intended goals in high-slip environments. These components include: visual odometry, vehicle kinematics, a Kalman filter pose estimator, and a slip compensation/path follower. Visual odometry tracks distinctive scene features in stereo imagery to estimate rover motion between successively acquired stereo image pairs. The vehicle kinematics for a rocker-bogie suspension system estimates motion by measuring wheel rates, and rocker, bogie, and steering angles. The Kalman filter merges data from an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and visual odometry. This merged estimate is then compared to the kinematic estimate to determine how much slippage has occurred, taking into account estimate uncertainties. If slippage has occurred then a slip vector is calculated by differencing the current Kalman filter estimate from the kinematic estimate. This slip vector is then used to determine the necessary wheel velocities and steering angles to compensate for slip and follow the desired path.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2005 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)0780389123, 9780780389120
StatePublished - 2005

Publication series

Name2005 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS


  • Kalman filter
  • Kinematics
  • Rover navigation
  • Slip compensation
  • Visual odometry


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