Using a Biological Material to Improve Locomotion of Hexapod Robots
Animals can move in not only elegant but also energy efficient ways. Their skin is one of the key components for this achievement. It provides a proper friction for forward motion and can protect them from slipping on a surface during locomotion. Inspired by this, we applied real shark skin to the foot soles of our hexapod robot AMOS. The material is formed to cover each foot of AMOS. Due to shark skin texture which has asymmetric profile inducing frictional anisotropy, this feature allows AMOS to grip specific surfaces and effectively locomote without slipping. Using real-time walking experiments, this study shows that implementing the biological material on the robot can reduce energy consumption while walking up a steep slope covered by carpets or other felt-like or rough substrates.
KeywordsShark skin Biomechanics Walking robots Frictional anisotropy
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