An earthworm-inspired soft crawling robot controlled by friction

  title={An earthworm-inspired soft crawling robot controlled by friction},
  author={Joey Z. Ge and Ariel A. Calder{\'o}n and N{\'e}stor Osvaldo P{\'e}rez-Arancibia},
  journal={2017 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO)},
We present the design, fabrication, modeling and feedback control of an earthworm-inspired soft robot that crawls on flat surfaces by actively changing the frictional forces acting on its body. Earthworms are segmented and composed of repeating units called metameres. During crawling, muscles enable these metameres to interact with each other in order to generate peristaltic waves and retractable setae (bristles) produce variable traction. The proposed robot crawls by replicating these two… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

An earthworm-inspired soft robot with perceptive artificial skin

A new type of pneumatically-driven soft robot that can travel inside pipes by mimicking the motions and replicating the functionalities of a single metamere is proposed and a sensing scheme for feedback control that mimics the mechanical sensory capabilities of an earthworm's skin is introduced.

A soft crawling robot driven by single twisted and coiled actuator

Inchworm Inspired Multimodal Soft Robots With Crawling, Climbing, and Transitioning Locomotion

Although many soft robots, capable of crawling or climbing, have been well developed, integrating multimodal locomotion into a soft robot for transitioning between crawling and climbing still remains

Yoshimura-origami Based Earthworm-like Robot With 3-dimensional Locomotion Capability

Experimental tests indicate that the robot could achieve effective rectilinear, turning, and rising locomotion, thus demonstrating the unique 3D locomotion capability.

Dynamically Tunable Friction via Subsurface Stiffness Modulation

It is demonstrated that when these composite structures are properly integrated into soft crawling robots inspired by inchworms and earthworms, the differences in friction of the two ends of these robots through SSM can potentially be used to generate translational locomotion for untethered crawling robots.

Optimal locomotion for limbless crawlers.

A model for the dynamics of one-dimensional elastic crawlers, subject to active stress and deformation-dependent friction with the substrate, finds that the optimal active stress distribution that maximizes the crawler's center-of-mass displacement given a fixed amount of energy input is a traveling wave.

Design of a new air pressure perception multi-cavity pneumatic-driven earthworm-like soft robot

The internal pressure of each cavity is detected and adjusted in real-time to change the moving and bending state of earthworm-like soft robot to realize the ability of self-adaption to unstructured environment.

Using Multi-Stable Origami Mechanism for Peristaltic Gait Generation: A Case Study

This study proposes and examines a novel approach to generate peristaltic locomotion gait in a segmented origami robot and demonstrates the potential of using multi-stable origami mechanisms to generate locomotion gaits without the need of complex controllers.

Development of an annelid-like peristaltic crawling soft robot using dielectric elastomer actuators

Compared to other existing annelid-like soft robots, this designed robot exhibits a superior average velocity, velocity/length ratio, body length/cycle, and velocity/mass ratio, and its performance affords the best approximation to that of the natural Annelid.

Pneumatically Actuated Self-Healing Bionic Crawling Soft Robot

A bionic earthworm crawling robot with self-healing ability is proposed by implanting self- healing silicone elastomer (PDMS-TFB) at key parts with Ecoflex00–30 silica gel as the main body.



Development of a biomimetic miniature robotic crawler

The paper describes the mechanical model, the design and the fabrication of a SMA-actuated segmented microrobot, whose locomotion is inspired by the peristaltic motion of Annelids, and in particular of earthworms (Lumbricus Terrestris).

Design, fabrication and control of a multi-material-multi-actuator soft robot inspired by burrowing worms

This work proposes a new pneumatically-driven soft robotic system that mimics the motions and replicates the functionality of a single burrowing earthworm's segment and demonstrates the suitability of this approach through three basic locomotion tests.

Development of peristaltic crawling robot using magnetic fluid on the basis of locomotion mechanism of earthworm

The field of bio-engineering with the aim of developing new machines, which utilizes the motion and control of organisms as a model, is attracting attention. This technology is pursued by paying

Meshworm: A Peristaltic Soft Robot With Antagonistic Nickel Titanium Coil Actuators

This paper presents the complete development and analysis of a soft robotic platform that exhibits peristaltic locomotion. The design principle is based on the antagonistic arrangement of circular

Design and Locomotion Control of a Soft Robot Using Friction Manipulation and Motor–Tendon Actuation

This paper presents design methodology for a 3-D printed motor-tendon actuated soft robot that is capable of locomotion, and presents a novel model-free learning-based control approach for soft robots, which interact with the environment at discrete contact points.


This paper is about the analysis, classification and valuation as well as the synthesis, development and construction of non-pedal, undulatory, peristaltic locomotion systems. An extensive literature

Omega-Shaped Inchworm-Inspired Crawling Robot With Large-Index-and-Pitch (LIP) SMA Spring Actuators

This paper proposes three design concepts for developing a crawling robot inspired by an inchworm, called the Omegabot. First, for locomotion, the robot strides by bending its body into an omega

Development of an Earthworm Robot with a Shape Memory Alloy and Braided Tube

An earthworm robot with a shape memory alloy, the BioMetal Helix, and a polyester braided tube was studied and the robot was improved by adaptation according to the simulated results.

An Earthworm-Like Robotic Endoscope System for Human Intestine: Design, Analysis, and Experiment

The microrobotic endoscope based on wireless power supply and the wireless communication remove the need of a connecting wire and improve the motion flexibility and have a high reliability and a good adaptability to the in vitro intestine.