Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering



The six wheeled rover vehicle detailed in this design is intended as an upgrade test bed for the sensor array and autonomous navigation algorithms in use by Utah State University's Center for Self-Organizing and Intelligent Systems (CSOIS). The CSOIS's sensor suite can successfully detect and avoid unnavigable obstacles up to five vehicle lengths in front of the vehicle. The center presently uses a modified RC type chassis and only supports two wheel drive. This chassis was adequate to bring the CSOIS's algorithms to a proof-of-principles state, but in order to place the system in any practical application, a full mobility chassis must be implemented. Although the purpose of the sensor is to detect obstacles, the chassis must still be able to crawl over small obstacles since the navigation system will indicate a best route to goal, not a perfectly smooth path.


The rover proposed by CSOIS is six wheeled in nature. The chassis must fit inside a 35 x 45 x 7.5 cm envelope. The total mass can not be any more than 2.5 kg and must be strong enough to support a 2.0 kg payload. The payload is designed to fit on a 20 x 22 cm platform centered over the chassis. Each of the six wheels must be individually driven. The rover msut be able to carry the payload up a 20° slope. The chassis must be capable of Ackerman steering (like on a car) and slip/skid steering (like on a tank). It must have a turning radius of 35 cm radius and have a total budget of $2000.00 or less.

Final Design

The format of the final design discussion in this report will precede by discussing the wheel and hub design first (section 1 ), followed by the steering and drive train (section 2), and finally the frame and suspension (section 3).

Discussions of the system drivers, failure modes, maufacturing schedule, and cost are contained in section 4.



Faculty Mentor

Slana Sebert