The modelling and estimation of driving forces for unmanned ground vehicles in outdoor terrain

Lakmal Seneviratne, Yahya Zweiri, Suksun Hutangkabodee, Zibin Song, Xiaojing Song, Savan Chhaniyara, Said Al-Milli, Kaspar Althoefer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Ground vehicles traversing rough unknown terrain has many applications in a range of industries including agriculture, defence, mining, space exploration and construction. The interaction dynamics between the vehicle and the terrain play a crucial role in determining the mobility characteristics of the vehicle. The two critical parameters that influence the interaction dynamics are the wheel-track slip and the unknown soil parameters. An algorithm for identifying unknown soil parameters based on a dynamic model and sensor feedback is presented. A method for estimating vehicle slip parameters based on an optical flow algorithm and a sliding mode observer is also presented. The last section addresses the traversability prediction for tracked vehicles traversing in circular trajectories. The algorithms are developed for both tracked and wheeled vehicles. The algorithms are tested and evaluated using two specially designed test rigs, and the test results are presented in the paper.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)40-50
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Modelling, Identification and Control
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Driving force prediction
  • Estimation
  • Identification
  • Modelling
  • Optical flow
  • Sliding mode observer
  • Soil parameter
  • Traversability prediction
  • Unknown terrain
  • Unmanned ground vehicles
  • Vehicle-terrain interactions
  • Vision


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