The focus of this research is modeling, simulation and prototyping of multi-locomotion bio-inspired robot. The actuation is based on shape memory alloys (SMAs) smart materials to achieve different styles of movements. Soft-bodied robots have potential to exploit morphological computation to adapt and interact with reduced control complexity. Observing the movement of a caterpillar that could produce different locomotion such as crawling and rolling, our team designed and developed a bio-inspired robot.
Analytical models of the different bio-inspired movements are derived and analyzed in Matlab in this work. The models rely on segmented approach actuated by smart materials in order to achieve the desired position. Smart material actuators are a promising but challenging actuation mechanism because of their design, large deformation possibilities, external stimuli shape change and high power density. The body parts are from a soft silicon elastomer. Between the silicone body parts, SMA spring are embedded, used as actuation force. Between the two segments, SMA spring as actuators are generation strain to bend the body and achieve crawling and lifting.
This work is initial modeling for multi locomotion of soft bio-inspired robot and will be followed by a detailed analytical and numerical modeling and simulation, finalizing with a functional prototype.