Anchoring like octopus: biologically inspired soft artificial sucker
Journal of the Royal Society Interface
MetadataShow full item record
This paper presents a robotic anchoring module, a sensorized mechanism for attachment to the environment that can be integrated into robots to enable or enhance various functions such as robot mobility, remaining on location or its ability to manipulate objects. The body of the anchoring module consists of two portions with a mechanical stiffness transition from hard to soft. The hard portion is capable of containing vacuum pressure used for actuation while the soft portion is highly conformable to create a seal to contact surfaces. The module is integrated with a single sensory unit which exploits a fibre-optic sensing principle to seamlessly measure proximity and tactile information for use in robot motion planning as well as measuring the state of firmness of its anchor. In an experiment, a variable set of physical loads representing the weights of potential robot bodies were attached to the module and its ability to maintain the anchor was quantified under constant and variable vacuum pressure signals. The experiment shows the effectiveness of the module in quantifying the state of firmness of the anchor and discriminating between different amounts of physical loads attached to it. The proposed anchoring module can enable many industrial and medical applications where attachment to environment is of crucial importance for robot control.
- College Publications