Multimodal Soft Robot for Complex Environments Using Bionic Omnidirectional Bending Actuator

Wenkai Huang, Zhipeng Xu, Junlong Xiao, Wei Hu, Huoqiu Huang, Fobao Zhou
2020 IEEE Access  
Soft robots have the characteristics of good adaptability to an environment. But at present, most soft robots only complete a single specific task, and as a result, their ability to adapt to complex environments is limited. In order to solve the weak ability of soft robots to adapt to complex and diverse environments, this paper presents a new bionic omnidirectional bending actuator (BOBA) inspired by leeches, caterpillars, and other mollusks. BOBA has less radial expansion, fast response, good
more » ... fast response, good flexibility, and omnidirectional bending. Using modular methods, it can be quickly assembled into a soft robot with a variety of motion modes. Experiments show the multimodal soft robot can climb vertical walls, transition from one surface to another, climb stairs, leap obstacles, cross narrow pipes, and move with heavy objects. This greatly improves the ability of soft robots to adapt to complex and diverse environments. INDEX TERMS Multimodal soft robot, omnidirectional bending actuator, mathematical modeling, reinforcement learning W. Huang et al.: Multimodal Soft Robot for Complex Environment Using Bionic Omnidirectional Bending Actuator 1 FIGURE 8. (a)-(c) The bending deformation of BOBA under the pressure of 0-100 kPa when 1-3 adjacent cavities are inflated. (d) The elongation and deformation of BOBA at a pressure of 0-80 kPa when all four cavities are inflated. FIGURE 9. The BOBA production process.
doi:10.1109/access.2020.3032983 fatcat:brccfq62vbh6xgzc6fbqqyqi5m