Scalybot: A snake-inspired robot with active control of friction

Hamidreza Marvi, Gregory Meyers, Geoffrey Russell, David L. Hu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Snakes are one of the world's most versatile locomotors, at ease slithering through rubble or ratcheting up vertical tree trunks. Their adaptations for movement across complex dry terrain thus serve naturally as inspirations for search-and-rescue robotics. In this combined experimental and theoretical study, we perform experiments on inclined surfaces to show a snake's scales are critical anatomical features that enable climbing. We find corn snakes actively change their scale angle of attack by contracting their ventral muscles and lifting their bodies. We use this novel paradigm to design Scalybot, a two-link limbless robot with individually controlled sets of belly scales. The robot ascends styrofoam plates inclined up to 45°, demonstrating a climbing ability comparable to that of a corn snake in the same conditions. The robot uses individual servos to provide a spatial and temporal dependence of its belly friction, effectively anchoring the stationary part of its body while reducing frictional drag of its sliding section. The ability to actively modulate friction increases both the robot's efficiency over horizontal surfaces and the limiting angles of inclination it can ascend.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASME 2011 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference and Bath/ASME Symposium on Fluid Power and Motion Control, DSCC 2011
Pages443-450
Number of pages8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventASME 2011 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference and Bath/ASME Symposium on Fluid Power and Motion Control, DSCC 2011 - Arlington, VA, United States
Duration: Oct 31 2011Nov 2 2011

Publication series

NameASME 2011 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference and Bath/ASME Symposium on Fluid Power and Motion Control, DSCC 2011
Volume2

Other

OtherASME 2011 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference and Bath/ASME Symposium on Fluid Power and Motion Control, DSCC 2011
CountryUnited States
CityArlington, VA
Period10/31/1111/2/11

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Control and Systems Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Scalybot: A snake-inspired robot with active control of friction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this