Development of a Peristaltic Crawling Robot Based on Earthworm Locomotion
Taro Nakamura, Takashi Kato, Tomohide Iwanaga,
and Yoichi Muranaka
Department of Precision Mechanics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Chuo University, 1-13-27 Kasuga, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-8551, Japan
Earthworm locomotion, called peristaltic crawling, requires less space than other types of movement, making it practical across irregular ground and inside narrow areas such as pipes and a thus a candidate for use with rescue and exploration robots. We developed a multiple-segment peristaltic crawling robot that uses servomotors. We discuss the basics of locomotion patterns, e.g., the length of longitudinal waves, period, friction force, and number of segments. We confirmed that robot movement resembled that of an actual earthworm and found in experiments that an appropriate period exists for the robot’s peristaltic crawling and that speed tends to decrease with decreasing friction force.
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