The octopus is a marine animal whose body has no rigid structures. It has 8 arms composed of a peculiar muscular structure, named muscular hydrostat. The octopus arms provide it with both locomotion and grasping capabilities, thanks to the fact that their stiffness can change over a wide range and it can be controlled through combined contractions of the muscles. The muscular hydrostat can better be seen as a modifiable skeleton. Furthermore, the morphology the arms and the mechanical characteristics of their tissues are such that the interaction with the environment, namely water, is exploited to simplify control. Thanks to this effective mechanism of embodied intelligence, the octopus can control a very high number of degrees of freedom, with relatively limited computing resources. From these considerations, the octopus emerges as a good model for embodied intelligence and for soft robotics. The prototype of a robot arm has been built based on an artificial muscular hydrostat inspired to the muscular hydrostat of the Octopus vulgaris. The prototype presents the morphology of the biological model and the broad arrangement of longitudinal and transverse muscles. Actuation is obtained with cables (longitudinally) and with SMA springs (transversally). The robot arm combines contractions and it can show the basic movements of the octopus arm, like elongation, shortening, and bending.

Soft Robot Arm Inspired by the Octopus

LASCHI, Cecilia;CIANCHETTI, Matteo;MAZZOLAI, Barbara;MARGHERI, Laura;FOLLADOR, Maurizio;DARIO, Paolo
2012-01-01

Abstract

The octopus is a marine animal whose body has no rigid structures. It has 8 arms composed of a peculiar muscular structure, named muscular hydrostat. The octopus arms provide it with both locomotion and grasping capabilities, thanks to the fact that their stiffness can change over a wide range and it can be controlled through combined contractions of the muscles. The muscular hydrostat can better be seen as a modifiable skeleton. Furthermore, the morphology the arms and the mechanical characteristics of their tissues are such that the interaction with the environment, namely water, is exploited to simplify control. Thanks to this effective mechanism of embodied intelligence, the octopus can control a very high number of degrees of freedom, with relatively limited computing resources. From these considerations, the octopus emerges as a good model for embodied intelligence and for soft robotics. The prototype of a robot arm has been built based on an artificial muscular hydrostat inspired to the muscular hydrostat of the Octopus vulgaris. The prototype presents the morphology of the biological model and the broad arrangement of longitudinal and transverse muscles. Actuation is obtained with cables (longitudinally) and with SMA springs (transversally). The robot arm combines contractions and it can show the basic movements of the octopus arm, like elongation, shortening, and bending.
2012
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11382/340254
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