ROboMObil: Robotic electric vehicle can turn on a dime and parallel park

ROboMObil offers simplified parking through higher manoeuvrability. Image credit: DLR

ROboMObil is an example of the fusion of robotics and electro-mobility. It is a robotic electric vehicle, which can turn on a dime and parallel park easily. It can be driven with partial or full autonomy. It has a modular design and its wheel robots provide a high level of maneuverability.

The ROboMObil’s 3 DOF (Degrees of Freedom) force-feedback joystick makes life easier for the driver. It is powered by 4 independently controlled 16 kW electric motors, and an extended steering angle range allows it to rotate on spot and to move sideways. It has an overall peak torque of 640 Nm.

The vehicle has four mechanically independent modules. This means that the chassis can be modified without affecting the powertrain – located completely in the two axle modules. The actuators are fully integrated within the Wheel Robots. The other modules are the battery and the body. The battery is mounted beneath the cockpit floor. The body forms the structure of the vehicle and carries the cockpit.

It features surround video cameras, which allow it to be driven with various degrees of autonomy, and the driver input can be given via remote control or using a joystick within the vehicle.

The Wheel Robot

The Wheel Robot concept allows for more flexible chassis layouts – by integrating all the vehicle dynamics actuators inside the wheel envelop. Each Wheel Robot consists of a traction motor, a steering actuator, and a brake actuator. These four Wheel Robots are integrated in two axle modules, which also house the electrical distribution components.

Autonomous Driving

The company says that ROboMObil’s hardware has been built from scratch for autonomous driving. It does not make use of Lidar or Radar. Instead, it uses cameras as environment perception sensors.

Electrical Energy System

The main energy storage unit is a Lithium Ion Battery with sufficient capacity for a range of 100 km.

Human Machine Interface

A three DoF force-feedback joystick is used to drive the vehicle. Touchscreens provide a graphical user interface for user commands and a visualization of the environment generated out of the camera data.

Source: DLR