Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Jerry Lee Hall


The important initial step for remediation of hazardous waste is contaminant analysis since the cleanup operation can not begin until the contaminants in hazardous waste sites have been clearly identified. Ames Laboratory, one of the U.S. Department of Energy sites, has developed a robotic sampling system for automation of real-time contaminant analysis in situ which will provide the advantage of lowering the cost per sample, eliminating personnel exposure to hazardous environments, and allowing quicker results. Successful accomplishment of real-time contaminant analysis will require a remote manipulator to perform the sampling tasks in remote and unstructured surroundings, and a remote-controlled guide vehicle to move a remote manipulator into the desired sampling location;This thesis focuses on the design and construction of a remote-controlled guide vehicle to move the robotic sampling system into the contaminated field to obtain soil samples at the desired locations, the development of an integrated dynamic model of a remote manipulator, the identification of dynamic parameters in the integrated dynamic model, and the design of a mobile robotic sampling system. A four-wheeled vehicle prototype has been constructed and its performance tested manually in the field to verify the design requirements. To remotely control the vehicle, mechanical requirements to activate the brake, throttle, transmission, and steering linkages were determined based on experimental results. A teleoperated control utilizing hundred feet long umbilical cords was first employed to remotely control the vehicle. Next, the vehicle was modified to remotely operate in the field by radio control without the aid of long umbilical cords, satisfying all the design specifications;To reduce modeling error in the robotic system, the integrated dynamic system comprised of a remote manipulator (located on a trailer pulled by the remote-controlled guide vehicle) and its drive system has been modeled. The friction model as a function of velocity is included. The dynamic parameters such as velocity-dependent friction and gravity torque in the integrated dynamic model have been determined based on experimental results;Finally, a robotic arm, a sampling tool, and a soil recovery fixture for a mobile robotic sampling system to be mounted on the remote-controlled guide vehicle have been designed and analyzed. The integrated dynamic model for the robotic arm (mounted on the remote-controlled guide vehicle) and its drive system has also been developed.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Kiho Kim



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

127 pages