Payload Capabilities and Operational Limits of Eversion Robots
Recent progress in soft robotics has seen new types of actuation mechanisms based on apical extension which allows robots to grow to unprecedented lengths. Eversion robots are a type of robots based on the principle of apical extension offering excellent maneuverability and ease of control allowing users to conduct tasks from a distance. Mechanical modelling of these robotic structures is very important for understanding their operational capabilities. In this paper, we model the eversion robot as a thin-walled cylindrical beam inflated with air pressure, using Timoshenko beam theory considering rotational and shear effects. We examine the various failure modes of the eversion robots such as yielding, buckling instability and lateral collapse, and study the payloads and operational limits of these robots in axial and lateral loading conditions. Surface maps showing the operational boundaries for different combinations of the geometrical parameters are presented. This work provides insights into the design of eversion robots and can pave the way towards eversion robots with high payload capabilities that can act from long distances.
KeywordsEversion robots Soft robots Inflated beams Timoshenko beam theory Failure modes Operational limits Design parameters
This work was supported in part by the EPSRC National Centre for Nuclear Robotics project (EP/R02572X/1), and the Innovate UK project WormBot (104059).
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