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A New Bio-Inspired Robot Based on Senseless Motion: Theoretical Study and Preliminary Technological Results

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image of Multidiscipline Modeling in Materials and Structures

Over the last few years, there has been considerable interest in developing autonomous robots that are able to move in constrained environments, inspired by the motion of lower animal forms such as parasites, worms, insects and even snakes and eels. In this paper, we describe a new design and concept of autonomous microrobot based on senseless motion. The "senseless motion" is the movement in absence of an external perception system. In a lot of living species, rhythmic movements, finalized to locomotion, are produced by oscillating circuits in the central nervous system. We reproduced this motion using a voice-coil actuator embedded with its control hardware in a cylinder presents on its external surface a skate-like structure produces a differential friction in order to move the robot on different substrates. Preliminary experiments have been carried out on several materials in order to measure the frictional forces produced by the robot during its motion and to verify the repeatability of senseless motion.

Affiliations: 1: Interdepartmental Research Center "E. Piaggio", Faculty of Engineering-University of Pisa, Via Diotisalvi, 2 56100 Pisa, Italy; 2: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Cagliari, 09123 Piazza D'armi, Cagliari, Italy


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