Terrain-dependent Slip Risk Prediction for Planetary Exploration Rovers
Wheel slip prediction on rough terrain is crucial for secure, long-term operations of planetary exploration rovers. Although rough, unstructured terrain hampers mobility, prediction by modeling wheel–terrain interactions remains difficult owing to unclear terrain conditions and complexities of terramechanics models. This study proposes a vision-based approach with machine learning for predicting wheel slip risk by estimating the slope from 3D information and classifying terrain types from image information. It considers the slope estimation accuracy for risk prediction under sharp increases in wheel slip due to inclined ground. Experimental results obtained with a rover testbed on several terrain types validate this method.