At this month’s IROS, Shixin Mao and colleagues showed a cool demo of “crawly” robots. These bio-inspired soft robots walk using soft legs, inspired by star fish!
The abstract indicates that the legs are actuated by shape memory alloys, which are simple, rugged, and energy efficient. Ideal for robots.
The work explored gaits with different numbers of legs, inspired by star fish which may lose and regenerate legs, but continue to walk with many different configurations. This, too, would be a useful trait for a robot, no?
I love the biomimetic design here, and the bots are fascinating. I look forward to hearing more from this project.
- Shixin Mao, Erbao Dong, Hu Jin, Min Xu, and K.H. Low, Locomotion and Gait Analysis of Multi-Limb Soft Robots Based on Smart Actuators in IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2016) 2016: Daejeon.