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Power-efficient adaptive behavior through a shape-changing elastic robot

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Gouwanda, D 
Iida, F 


jats:p The adaptive morphology of a robot, such as shape adaptation, plays a significant role in adapting its behaviors. Shape adaptation should ideally be achieved without considerable cost, like the power required to deform the robot’s body, and therefore, it is reasonably considered as the last resort in classical rigid robots. However, the last decade has seen an increasing interest in soft robots: robots that can achieve deformability through their inherent material properties or structural compliance. Nevertheless, the dynamics of these types of robots is often complex and therefore it is difficult to substantiate whether the cost like the required power for changing its shape will be worthwhile to achieve the desired behavior. This article presents an approach in the development and analysis of a shape-changing locomoting robot, which relies on the ability of elastic beams to deform and vibrate. Through a proper use of elastic materials and the robot’s vibration-based dynamics, it will be shown both analytically and experimentally how shape adaptation can be designed such that it leads to desirable behaviors, with better power efficiency compared to when the robot solely relies on changing its control input. The results encourage emerging direction in robotics that investigates approaches to change robots’ behaviors through their adaptive morphology. </jats:p>



Shape adaptation, power efficient, behaviors, elastic structure, soft robots

Journal Title

Adaptive Behavior

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SAGE Publications


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