Single Actuator Wave-Like Robot

Scientists from University of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, have developed the first Single Actuator Wave (SAW) like a robot. The robot generates a pure wave motion using a single motor. The research has been done by Dr. David Zarrouk, who is a senior lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering Department in collaboration with his two master students Ilanit Waksman and Nir Dagani.

They have studied the movement of the robot. Ilanit studied swimming in viscous liquids, a movement that mimics small biological organisms. At the same time, Nir studied movement on flexible and slippery surfaces in an effort to model the locomotion of robots within the human body.

As snakes move in nature, similarly robot’s wave movement is perpendicular in nature. The wave movement allows the robot to move across different surfaces, climb, and swim, while the wheels are for steering.

Some key features of Single actuator wave-like robot

  • As compare to other robots, it is five times faster with a top speed of 57 cm per second.
  • Can climb over different obstacles like through tunnels at a rate of 8 cm per second by touching both sides.
  • Can crawl through different surfaces like sand, grass, and gravel.
  • A waterproof version of the robot can swim at 6 cm per second.
  • Strong, easy to manufacture, reliable and energy efficient which allows for long travel distances.

Dr. Zarrouk, “Although, various researchers from worldwide have been trying to create a wave movement for 90 years. We succeeded in finding a simple and unique solution. This allows the robot to be built in different sizes for different purposes. For example, it can be scaled up for search and rescue and maintenance or miniaturized to a diameter of one cm or less to travel within the human body for medical purposes, like imaging biopsies of the digestive system.”

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“Additionally, throughout the testing we barely needed to perform any maintenance. The robot is ready to go and I believe that it has a very good chance of traveling through the intestine for imaging and biopsy purposes. The robot also has security potential primarily for use in infiltrating problematic and complex areas, like tunnels, destroyed buildings, pipes and the like,” he continued.

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