Wheel Ridges Trade-Off Study

By Malak Alamad (Design and Manufacturing) | Fall 2017 | Sojourner Team


Based off last year’s design, the Sojourner’s wheels had rectangular ridges across them for traction. We initially used the same wheel design for our rover, but after some testing and research, we decided to change the design of the wheel to have triangular ridges.


When we tested the rover, while the wheels had rectangular ridges, the wheels were sliding in their place. The movement of the Sojourner was not optimized for a Mars-like terrain. After putting some thought into this design, we created the triangular ridges on the wheel in order to solve this problem. With triangular ridges, the wheel will be able to move more easily and more freely. If it gets stuck in a dip in the ground on Mars, the triangular ridges will allow for better traction on the terrain, where it can dig itself into the ground be able to escape the dilemma it was placed in. These ridges will be used like cleats to overcome the rocky and unstable terrain. This design also allows for more versatility.


The triangular ridges on the wheels will be better for our design to allow for better grip, more ease getting out of dips, and better overcoming the obstacles of a Mars-like terrain.