Biomimetic Robotic Mechanisms via Shape Deposition Manufacturing

  • Sean A. Bailey
  • Jorge G. Cham
  • Mark R. Cutkosky
  • Robert J. Full


At small scales, the fabrication of robots from off-the-shelf structural materials, sensors and actuators becomes increasingly difficult. New manufacturing methods such as Shape Deposition Manufacturing offer an alternative approach in which sensors and actuators are embedded directly into three-dimensional structures without fasteners or connectors. In addition, structures can be fabricated with spatially varying material properties such as specific stiffness and damping. These capabilities allow us to consider biomimetic designs that draw their inspiration from crustaceans and insects. Recent research on insect physiology has revealed the importance of passive compliance and damping in achieving robustness and simplifying control. We describe the design and fabrication of small robot limbs with locally varying stiffness and embedded sensors and actuators. We discuss the process planning issues associated with creating such structures and present results obtained via Shape Deposition Manufacturing.


Feedforward Control Solid Freeform Fabrication Insect Physiology Vary Material Property American Zoologist 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sean A. Bailey
    • 1
  • Jorge G. Cham
    • 1
  • Mark R. Cutkosky
    • 1
  • Robert J. Full
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Design ResearchStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Dept. of Integrative BiologyUniversity of California at BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

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