Enhanced Locomotion Efficiency of a Bio-inspired Walking Robot using Contact Surfaces with Frictional Anisotropy
Manoonpong, Poramate ; Petersen, Dennis ; Kovalev, Alexander ; Wörgötter, Florentin ; Gorb, Stanislav N. ; Spinner, Marlene ; Heepe, Lars
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/14233
Based on the principles of morphological computation, we propose a novel approach that exploits the interaction between a passive anisotropic scale-like material (e.g., shark skin) and a non-smooth substrate to enhance locomotion efficiency of a robot walking on inclines. Real robot experiments show that passive tribologically-enhanced surfaces of the robot belly or foot allow the robot to grip on specific surfaces and move effectively with reduced energy consumption. Supplementing the robot experiments, we investigated tribological properties of the shark skin as well as its mechanical stability. It shows high frictional anisotropy due to an array of sloped denticles. The orientation of the denticles to the underlying collagenous material also strongly influences their mechanical interlocking with the substrate. This study not only opens up a new way of achieving energy-efficient legged robot locomotion but also provides a better understanding of the functionalities and mechanical properties of anisotropic surfaces. That understanding will assist developing new types of material for other realworld applications.