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MEMS Graduate Student Seminar: Vehicle Escape Dynamics on an Arbitrarily Curved Surface

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Friday, October 12, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

The MEMS Graduate Student Seminar Series allows graduate students to present research to their peers for both experience and community feedback. Lunch is provided for all attendees.


This research derives a planar model for a vehicle on an arbitrarily curved surface. The goal is to investigate different strategies that may be used to get a vehicle unstuck from a ditch. More specifically, to get a modern vehicle unstuck typically requires someone to get behind the vehicle and assist in pushing it out of the ditch. Due to human limitations in power output, the individual learns to rhythmically time their push, or applied force, to build momentum and achieve escape. Numerical simulations are used to explore different strategies, or forcing functions, on this system. For example, this research considers forcing the system at its linear natural frequency and a forcing strategy more akin to human behavior. Comparisons are made to determine the safest and most efficient strategy to achieve an escape. This research demonstrates the effectiveness of human intuition in pushing a vehicle out of a ditch.