Iranian Researcher Makes Snake-Inspired Robot

Sunday, February 25, 2018 - 11:22

Ahmad Rafsanjani, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University has developed robots with deformable scaly skin that can move like snakes.

In a new article in Science Robotics, researchers from Harvard show how mimicking snake scales with kirigami-inspired deformable materials enabled them to make a limbless soft robot that can crawl by simply inflating and deflating itself over and over, The Verge reports.

He resorted to the Japanese art of paper cutting, called kirigami. Ahmad Rafsanjani used lasers to make cuts in thin plastic sheets in the shape of lines, triangles, circles, or trapezoids. The skins were then wrapped around silicone rubber tubes powered by air. (The air was either pumped through tubes, or thanks to a small control unit with onboard pump, battery, and sensors.)

A snake’s scales are all pointed the same direction, providing a substantial amount of favorable friction that makes it easier for the snake to move forwards than it is to move backwards. This makes moving backwards occasionally inconvenient, but it also means that the snake is able to achieve forward motion by generating a wave along its belly that first pulls its scales forwards, and then pushes them backwards.

The mechanics seem simple enough, but it actually took a year and a half to perfect the snake-y crawler. Rafsanjani made hundreds of skins and about 50 soft robots before it all worked out. “It takes a lot of design details to achieve such a simple motion,” he tells The Verge. The first prototypes just wouldn’t crawl: the tubes would expand upward or the skin was too thick. But finally, Rafsanjani and his colleagues were able to create just the right scaly skins to mimic snakes.

Related News

Humanoid Robot Gives Math Lessons, Tells Jokes and Keeps China's Lonely Children

1397/3/27 10:02

'Soft' Robots Can Move on Their Own

1397/2/4 14:22

Iran-Austria Program Accepts Najafabad IAU Faculty Research Proposal

1396/12/22 12:24

Researchers Develop Human-in-the-Loop Optimization of Hip Assistance with a Soft Exosuit During Walking

1396/12/13 09:36

Shiraz SAMA IAU Student to Participate in Int’l METU Robots Days

1396/12/9 10:40

Tehran SAMA IAU Ranks Top in RoboCup 2018

1396/11/23 15:08

Khormoj IAU Runner-Up in RoboCup 2018

1396/11/21 11:58

Researchers Make Inchworm-Like Robot that Runs on Humidity

1396/11/7 14:46

Isfahan IAU Students Shine in RoboCup Asia-Pacific 2017

1396/10/5 14:24

Iranian Robot Ranks Among Top Eight in ICSR 2017

1396/9/12 16:11

This Biohybrid Robot Can Swim Through the Body

1396/9/4 16:15

“DORNA,” a Versatile Robotic Arm

1396/8/15 16:26

Amirkabir University of Technology Holds the 5th Intl. Conf. on Robotics

1396/8/3 11:30

RAVE, Language Teacher for Deaf and Hearing Children

1396/7/25 12:55

Robot Dentist Successfully Completes First Ever Operation

1396/7/2 16:25

Khomeyni Shahr IAU Robotic Team Ranks 3rd at RobotChallenge 2017

1396/6/28 11:07

Robots Will Begin Replacing Teachers within 10 Years

1396/6/22 14:14

Isfahan University of Technology Robotic Team Ranks 3rd at RoboCup 2017

1396/6/13 09:10

Soccer Robots Compete to Beat Humans in 2050

1396/5/11 00:39

Dr. Rahbar’s Message on IAU Robotic Teams victories in RoboCup 2017

1396/5/11 00:31

Ilkhchi IAU IRC Team to Compete in RoboCup 2017

1396/5/4 00:09

Scientists Develop Curious Robots

1396/3/13 23:09

Sufian IAU Ranks 2nd in Int’l Robotic Competition

1395/11/30 12:39

IAU Robotic Crab Can Walk on Uneven Surfaces

1395/11/16 15:56

West Tehran IAU & Sharif University of Technology Unveil RASA Robot

1395/9/29 19:57

Opinions


Popular News

Latest News