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Design and Analysis of a Miniature Modular Inchworm Robot

[+] Author Affiliations
Wael Saab, Anil Kumar, Pinhas Ben-Tzvi

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Paper No. DETC2016-59386, pp. V05AT07A060; 6 pages
  • ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5A: 40th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, August 21–24, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5015-2
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


This paper presents the design and analysis of a bioinspired miniature modular Inchworm robot. Inchworm robots play crucial roles in surveillance, exploration and search and rescue operations where maneuvering in confined spaces is required. Rectilinear gaits have been demonstrated with favorable results in terms of stability and small size due to the absence of wheels and tracks; however, exhibit slow speeds. The proposed mechanism utilizes undulatory rectilinear gait motion through linear expansion/contraction of modules and anisotropic friction skin to produce pure linear motion. The use of anisotropic friction skin results in a simple, low cost, miniature mechanical structure. Friction analysis of the anisotropic material is performed and the system is modeled to derive its equations of motion. Modeling and simulation results are validated through experiments performed with an integrated prototype. Results indicate that the robot can achieves an average forward velocity of 11 mm/s on various surfaces.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Topics: Robots , Design



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