Decision letter: Mitigating memory effects during undulatory locomotion on hysteretic materials [peer_review]

Michael J Shelley, Stephen Morris, Andrew J King, Raymond E Goldstein
2019 unpublished
While terrestrial locomotors often contend with permanently deformable substrates like sand, soil, and mud, principles of motion on such materials are lacking. We study the desertspecialist shovel-nosed snake traversing a model sand and find body inertia is negligible despite rapid transit and speed dependent granular reaction forces. New surface resistive force theory (RFT) calculation reveals how wave shape in these snakes minimizes material memory effects and optimizes escape performance
more » ... ape performance given physiological power limitations. RFT explains the morphology and waveform-dependent performance of a diversity of non-sand-specialist snakes but overestimates the capability of those snakes which suffer high lateral slipping of the body. Robophysical experiments recapitulate aspects of these failure-prone snakes and elucidate how reencountering previously deformed material hinders performance. This study reveals how memory effects stymied the locomotion of a diversity of snakes in our previous studies (Marvi et al., 2014) and indicates avenues to improve all-terrain robots. Schiebel et al. eLife 2020;9:e51412.
doi:10.7554/elife.51412.sa1 fatcat:3m2tcdybtzhj7gil7gczanpf4u