Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Seals Provided Inspiration for Waddling Robot

View as: Print Mobile App Share:
A seal.

The researchers studied the movements of pinnipeds—the technical term given to fin-footed mammals such as seals, walruses, and sea lions—as an alternative to existing quadrupedal and soft-limbed robots.

Credit: Deposit Photos

Seals and other pinnipeds inspired a multi-institutional team of researchers to develop a waddling soft robot that reportedly features "improved degrees of freedom, gait trajectory diversity, limb dexterity, and payload capabilities."

The three-limbed robot locomotes via undulating movements while supported by a rigid "backbone" modeled after fin-footed mammals.

Each limb is propelled by liquid-filled pneumatic actuators to achieve varying levels of rigidity in order to control the robot's direction.

The researchers said the robot's symmetric weight distribution complicates its ability to remain stable while moving forward, although it can move faster when walking in reverse because its body counteracts the torque imbalance.

The team thinks such robots could find use in hazardous operations like search and rescue missions, nuclear site inspections, and even planetary exploration.

From Popular Science
View Full Article


Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


No entries found

Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account