Slithering Robot Is an Engineering First
August 12, 2016
ENGINEERING.com — Engineers at Ben-Gurion University have developed the first wave-like robot powered by a single actuator with no internal straight spine.
Developed by an engineering team led by Dr. David Zarrouk of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the Single Actuator Wave-Like Robot (SAW) mimics the movement of living biological systems like snakes and worms.
Moving at 57 centimeters (22 inches) per second, the SAW robot is five times faster than similar robots, can move across shifting terrain like rocks or sand, and can even swim through water.
In addition, the simplicity of the design allows the robot to be scaled up or down depending on its use. Large units could find application in search and rescue or infiltration of sensitive areas, while very small units could enter the human body for imaging or diagnostic purposes.
The fact that the robot can be 3-D printed, its energy efficiency, and its minimal maintenance requirements allows for a diverse range of applications.