Artificial annelid robot driven by soft actuators

Bioinspir Biomim. 2007 Jun;2(2):S42-9. doi: 10.1088/1748-3182/2/2/S05. Epub 2007 Jun 5.


The annelid provides a biological solution of effective locomotion adaptable to a large variety of unstructured environmental conditions. The undulated locomotion of the segmented body in the annelid is characterized by the combination of individual motion of the muscles distributed along the body, which has been of keen interest in biomimetic investigation. In this paper, we present an annelid-like robot driven by soft actuators based on dielectric elastomer. To mimic the unique motion of the annelid, a novel actuation method employing dielectric elastomer is developed. By using the actuator, a three-degree-of-freedom actuator module is presented, which can provide up-down translational motion, and two rotational degree-of-freedom motion. The proposed actuation method provides advantageous features of reduction in size, fast response and ruggedness in operation. By serially connecting the actuator modules, a micro-robot mimicking the motion of the annelid is developed and its effectiveness is experimentally demonstrated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Annelida / physiology*
  • Biomimetic Materials*
  • Biomimetics / instrumentation*
  • Biomimetics / methods
  • Computer Simulation
  • Computer-Aided Design
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Locomotion / physiology*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Robotics / instrumentation*
  • Robotics / methods
  • Transducers*