Benny Gamus received his M.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, in 2013, studying the hybrid dynamics of legged robots. He served as a UAV system officer in the IAF. He is currently working towards a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (Technion – Israel Institute of Technology), studying the fluid-structure interaction, dynamics and control of soft robotic locomotion.
Modeling and Analyzing Soft-Robotic Legged Crawling Locomotion
In soft robots and nonskeletal animals, quasistatic crawling is a common mechanism of legged locomotion. Quasistatic crawling is characterized by slow stick-slip transitions of the contact points within a continuum of static equilibria, without breaking ground contact. By introducing inlets with phase difference researchers have observed a progression pattern, but the design of these inlets is usually done by trial and error. We propose modeling this locomotion by approximating it with an equivalent multi-link “traditional” robot. For concreteness we study a soft bipedal robot with passive frictional crawling via a 3-link model. Since this mechanism is statically indeterminate it requires for a novel “hybrid quasistatic” approach, which combines different contact states and the transitions between them. This approach and analysis lead to comprehension of the crawling mechanism and nontrivial insights on gait-planning of soft robots, as confirmed by experiments.