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Front. Mech. Eng. | doi: 10.3389/fmech.2019.00044

Sliding walk with friction control of double-network gel on feet of inchworm robot

  • 1Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Yamagata University, Japan
  • 2Yamagata University, Japan
  • 3otuA Inc, Japan
  • 4Department of Mechanical Systems Engineering, Yamagata University, Japan

Soft-matter robotics, which is named for robots made from soft materials, will possibly conquer the limit of conventional rigid body dynamics of hard robots made from hard materials. For example, a snake-like robot, of which body is made from soft materials, will walk in various environments including narrow space like drain pipes with complicated structure. Here we developed a walking robot with the friction control of double-network hydrogel (DN gel) on its feet, as the first model based on the concept of the soft-matter robotics. It is found that with appropriate control of the friction of DN gel, the inchworm walking robot has realized its high enough velocity for pipe inspection. We discussed the physical principle of the walking motion of the inchworm search robot and its actual mechanism to provide thrust for its walking motion.

Keywords: soft-matter robotics, Double-network hydrogel, Friction control, Biomimetics, bioinspired robotics, inchworm walking robot, Pipe inspection

Received: 30 Nov 2018; Accepted: 02 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

Darwin Lau, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China

Reviewed by:

Peter M. Lee, Southwest Research Institute, United States
Alpaslan Atmanli, National Defense University, Turkey  

Copyright: © 2019 Takagi, Yoshida, Hoshino, Tadakuma, Suzuri and Furukawa. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Hidemitsu Furukawa, Yamagata University, Department of Mechanical Systems Engineering, Yamagata, 992-8510, Yamagata, Japan, hidemitsufurukawa@gmail.com