Evaluation of an Adaptive Suspension Vehicle


  • W. B. Stuart Virginia Polytechnic Institute Blacksburg, U.S.A.
  • W. Michael Aust Virginia Polytechnic Institute Blacksburg, U.S.A.
  • Hubert Lacki Warsaw Academy of Agricultural Science Warsaw, Poland
  • Lisa Andrews Virginia Polytechnic Institute Blacksburg, U.S.A


The Adaptive Suspension Vehicle, a proof-of-concept, six-legged robotic walking machine, was subject to a series of field trials to evaluate the maneuverability and trafficability characteristics of walking machines. Maneuverability trials were structured to test performance as a carrier for frame-mounted feller-buncher heads in both thinning and clearcutting applications. The trafficability trials focused on the type and extent of soil disturbance, especially changes in soil bulk density, mechanical resistance, macro- and micro-porosity, the machine was found to impact the soil very differently than wheeled or tracked equipment. Direct comparisons of soil parameters were limited because of time and budget restrictions but seem to indicate that the legged locomotion offered distinct production and soil disturbance advantages, especially on steep slopes and in wetlands.






Technical Reviews