ICRA 2011 Paper Abstract


Paper ThA208.4

Umedachi, Takuya (Tohoku University), Akiyama, Masakazu (PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Agency), Tero, Atsushi (PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Agency,), Ishiguro, Akio (Tohoku University)

Simulation of a Soft-Bodied Fluid-Driven Amoeboid Robot That Exploits Thixotropic Flow

Scheduled for presentation during the Regular Sessions "Soft Material Robotics" (ThA208), Thursday, May 12, 2011, 10:50−11:05, Room 5C

2011 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 9-13, 2011, Shanghai International Conference Center, Shanghai, China

This information is tentative and subject to change. Compiled on May 22, 2019

Keywords Biologically-Inspired Robots, Distributed Robot Systems, Soft Material Robotics


This paper presents a two-dimensional simulation model of an amoeboid robot that exhibits locomotion in a decentralized manner. The significant feature to note is that the model does not control friction between parts of the robot and ground explicitly but exploits passive dynamics of the inner fluid of the robot, i.e., thixotropic flow, in order to generate locomotion. Thixotropy is a very interesting rheological property of a fluid to form a gelled structure over time when not subject to shearing and then to liquefy when agitated, which is observed in protoplasmic streaming of amoeba and plasmodium of true slime mold. Simulation results show that embedding this passive dynamics induces morphological positive feedback mechanism, leading to convection of the inner fluid, which in turn generates locomotion without relying on any hierarchical structure. The results obtained are expected to shed new light on revealing the secret of how decentralized control should be designed.



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