DOI: 10.3390/biomimetics8050390 ISSN:

A Fluid-Driven Loop-Type Modular Soft Robot with Integrated Locomotion and Manipulation Capability

Xin Sui, Mingzhu Lai, Jian Qi, Zhiyuan Yang, Ning Zhao, Jie Zhao, Hegao Cai, Yanhe Zhu
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Bioengineering
  • Biotechnology

In nature, some animals, such as snakes and octopuses, use their limited body structure to conduct various complicated tasks not only for locomotion but also for hunting. Their body segments seem to possess the intelligence to adapt to environments and tasks. Inspired by nature, a modular soft robot with integrated locomotion and manipulation abilities is presented in this paper. A soft modular robot is assembled using several homogeneous cubic pneumatic soft actuator units made of silicone rubber. Both a mathematical model and backpropagation neural network are established to describe the nonlinear deformation of the soft actuator unit. The locomotion process of the chain-type soft robot is analyzed to provide a general rhythmic control principle for modular soft robots. A vision sensor is adopted to control the locomotion and manipulation processes of the modular soft robot in a closed loop. The experimental results indicate that the modular soft robot put forward in this paper has both locomotion and manipulation abilities.

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