IROS 2015 Paper Abstract


Paper ThAP.24

Argiolas, Alfredo (Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna), Puleo, Gian Luigi (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia), Sinibaldi, Edoardo (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia), Mazzolai, Barbara (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia)

A Novel Plant-Inspired Osmotic Actuator for Robotics Applications

Scheduled for presentation during the Poster session "Late Breaking Posters" (ThAP), Thursday, October 1, 2015, 09:45−10:00, Saal G1

2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Sept 28 - Oct 03, 2015, Congress Center Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

This information is tentative and subject to change. Compiled on July 19, 2019

Keywords Biomimetics, New Actuators, Biologically-Inspired Robots, Biomimetics


We present a novel plant-inspired low-power-consumption actuator. Our device takes inspiration from plants that are able to move even if without muscles, by using cellular turgor pressure and mechanical instabilities provided by their elastic structures arrangement. The proposed osmotic actuator, which features 10 mm characteristic lengthscale, provides a few tens of Newton force on the minute timescale when operated with common osmolytes (e.g. NaCl 1M). Its power consumption is on the order of 1 mW, while energy density is around 1-10 J cm-3. Our actuator can be effectively used to trigger fast movements as well as to power slow ones (e.g. to lift a few kg loads), or to power small soft robots. In addition, bioinspired osmolytes can be used as fuel for cell-powered actuation strategies.



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