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Proceedings Paper

Novel locomotion via biological inspiration
Author(s): Roger D. Quinn; Alexander Boxerbaum; Luther Palmer; Hillel Chiel; Eric Diller; Alexander Hunt; Richard Bachmann
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Paper Abstract

Animal behavioral, physiological and neurobiological studies are providing a wealth of inspirational data for robot design and control. Several very different biologically inspired mobile robots will be reviewed. A robot called DIGbot is being developed that moves independent of the direction of gravity using Distributed Inward Gripping (DIG) as a rapid and robust attachment mechanism observed in climbing animals. DIGbot is an 18 degree of freedom hexapod with onboard power and control systems. Passive compliance in its feet, which is inspired by the flexible tarsus of the cockroach, increases the robustness of the adhesion strategy and enables DIGbot to execute large steps and stationary turns while walking on mesh screens. A Whegs™ robot, inspired by insect locomotion principles, is being developed that can be rapidly reconfigured between tracks and wheel-legs and carry GeoSystems Zipper Mast. The mechanisms that cause it to passively change its gait on irregular terrain have been integrated into its hubs for a compact and modular design. The robot is designed to move smoothly on moderately rugged terrain using its tracks and run on irregular terrain and stairs using its wheel-legs. We are also developing soft bodied robots that use peristalsis, the same method of locomotion earthworms use. We present a technique of using a braided mesh exterior to produce fluid waves of motion along the body of the robot that increase the robot's speed relative to previous designs. The concept is highly scalable, for endoscopes to water, oil or gas line inspection.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 May 2011
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 8045, Unmanned Systems Technology XIII, 804511 (24 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.886413
Show Author Affiliations
Roger D. Quinn, Case Western Reserve Univ. (United States)
Alexander Boxerbaum, Case Western Reserve Univ. (United States)
Luther Palmer, Case Western Reserve Univ. (United States)
Hillel Chiel, Case Western Reserve Univ. (United States)
Eric Diller, Case Western Reserve Univ. (United States)
Alexander Hunt, Case Western Reserve Univ. (United States)
Richard Bachmann, Case Western Reserve Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8045:
Unmanned Systems Technology XIII
Douglas W. Gage; Charles M. Shoemaker; Robert E. Karlsen; Grant R. Gerhart, Editor(s)

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