Peristaltic locomotion with antagonistic actuators in soft robotics

TitlePeristaltic locomotion with antagonistic actuators in soft robotics
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsSeok, S., C. D. Onal, R. Wood, D. Rus, and S. Kim
Conference NameRobotics and Automation (ICRA), 2010 IEEE International Conference on
Date Published05/2010
Conference LocationAnchorage, AK
ISBN Number978-1-4244-5038-1
Accession Number11430932

This paper presents a soft robotic platform that exhibits peristaltic locomotion. The design principle is based on the unique antagonistic arrangement of radial/circular and longitudinal muscle groups of Oligochaeta. Sequential antagonistic motion is achieved in a flexible braided mesh-tube structure with NiTi coil actuators. A numerical model for the mesh structure describes how peristaltic motion induces robust locomotion and details the deformation by the contraction of NiTi actuators. Several peristaltic locomotion modes are modeled, tested, and compared on the basis of locomotion speed. The entire mechanical structure is made of flexible mesh materials and can withstand significant external impacts during locomotion. This approach can enable a completely soft robotic platform by employing a flexible control unit and energy sources.