Gait study and pattern generation of a starfish-like soft robot with flexible rays actuated by SMAs
Low, Kin Huat
Date of Issue2014
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
This paper presents the design and development of a starfish-like soft robot with flexible rays and the implementation of multi-gait locomotion using Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) actuators. The design principle was inspired by the starfish, which possesses a remarkable symmetrical structure and soft internal skeleton. A soft robot body was constructed by using 3D printing technology. A kinematic model of the SMA spring was built and developed for motion control according to displacement and force requirements. The locomotion inspired from starfish was applied to the implementation of the multi-ray robot through the flexible actuation induced multi-gait movements in various environments. By virtue of the proposed ray control patterns in gait transition, the soft robot was able to cross over an obstacle approximately twice of its body height. Results also showed that the speed of the soft robot was 6.5 times faster on sand than on a clammy rough terrain. These experiments demonstrated that the bionic soft robot with flexible rays actuated by SMAs and multi-gait locomotion in proposed patterns can perform successfully and smoothly in various terrains.
Journal of bionic engineering
© 2014 Jilin University. This paper was published in Journal of Bionic Engineering and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of Jilin University. The paper can be found at the following official DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1672-6529(14)60053-6. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.