Soft robotics has recently become a popular topic owing to its advantages over conventional rigid robotics. In this article, we introduce a soft robot that can grow with its own structure; its main components include an inflatable tube for its body and a tip with an expansion mechanism. The tube is made of conventional laminated film. It leads the robot to improved applicability. The robot can grow along the horizontal and vertical directions, and it can bend around yaw and pitch axis. To achieve this, a mechanism feeds air into the inflatable tube for growing the structure, and another heat welding mechanism allows producing bending points where necessary. The experimental results confirm that the proposed robot can grow in mid-air and bend around the yaw axis with varying bending radii. Further, the robot can climb a wall and displace an upper surface by pitch-axis bending. The designed bending structures are very stable because of heat welding; the growing and climbing capabilities depend on the inner pressure of the tube, and these capabilities allow the robot to select various shapes and move seamlessly in various environments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- コンピュータ サイエンスの応用