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Robotic Inchworm Climbs to Higher Ground

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inchworm robot positioning itself to climb a vertical wall

The robot can move from crawling on the ground to climbing a vertical wall.

Credit: Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Researchers at China's Shanghai Jiao Tong University have developed a robot that moves like an inchworm and can make its way between horizontal and vertical planes.

The robot is equipped with three fiber-reinforced pneumatic actuators to allow precise control of its tail, head, and body. It also features two pressure suckers with a double layer of silicone, which work with the actuators to propel the robot forward, according to a published study. The robot can carry 500 grams on horizontal planes and 20 grams on vertical walls, and reach top speeds of 21 millimeters per second on horizontal planes and 15 millimeters per second on vertical walls.

"It is the first time to achieve transition locomotion of a soft mobile robot between horizontal and vertical planes, which may expand the workspace of the soft robot," says Shanghai Jiao Tong University Professor Guoying Gu.

From IEEE Spectrum
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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