Abstract

This paper presents critical design modifications for an Origami-enabled Soft Crawling Autonomous Robot (OSCAR). OSCAR';s upgraded design mitigates motion uncertainties, which often plague soft robots. More specifically, we present a design that mitigates motion uncertainties caused by the feet';s interaction with the ground and uncertainties in the assembly procedures and actuators'; control. The new design has a robust and repeatable locomotion cycle that reaches more than 95% of its ideal, analytically predicted locomotion cycle. OSCAR';s performance is experimentally validated using two case studies, namely navigation in a 2D environment with static obstacles and coupled locomotion of two docked OSCAR segments. Results from the first case study demonstrate OSCAR';s accurate and robust path following performance across multiple trials and experiments. Results from the second case study show the successful and repeatable earthworm-inspired locomotion of two docked OSCAR segments. The second case study demonstrates OSCAR';s modular design. OSCAR';s modified design, along with the reduced motion uncertainty, allows for operation where individual segments can operate alone or while docked to other segments. The repeatable and modular OSCAR design presented in this study expands the operational envelope for origami-enabled robots and allows their deployment in various applications.

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