Salamanderbot: A soft-rigid composite continuum mobile robot to traverse complex environments


Soft robots are theoretically well-suited to rescue and exploration applications where their flexibility allows for the traversal of highly cluttered environments. However, most existing mobile soft robots are not fast or powerful enough to effectively traverse three dimensional environments. In this paper, we introduce a new mobile robot with a continuously deformable slender body structure, the SalamanderBot, which combines the flexibility and maneuverability of soft robots, with the speed and power of traditional mobile robots. It consists of a cable-driven bellows-like origami module based on the Yoshimura crease pattern mounted between sets of powered wheels. The origami structure allows the body to deform as necessary to adapt to complex environments and terrains, while the wheels allow the robot to reach speeds of up to 303.1 mm/s (2.05 body-length/s). Salamanderbot can climb up to 60-degree slopes and perform sharp turns with a minimum turning radius of 79.9 mm (0.54 body-length).

In IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation