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PDF (27.3 MB)
Pages 431-438
First published 2 July 2012

Deformable Octahedron Burrowing Robot

Juan Cristobal Zagal, Cristobal Armstrong, Shuguang Li


This paper explores the use of a deformable octahedron robot as an alternative for th autonomous exploration of complex confined spaces, voids, and tunneling structures. Current robotic platforms lack the capabilities for adapting their shape when moving through intricate sections of cavities. We discuss the geometrical and dynamical properties of a deformable octahedron platform. We use real and simulated robots to test and synthesize locomotion controllers taht allow our robots to travel along different portions of a tunnling test bed. Evolutionary methods allow us to automatically produce controllers for in-pipe motion. We demonstrate the capabilitis of peristaltic locomtion, different modes of deformation and volumetric adaptation. An evolution of motion capabilities insid pipe elbows and branches is performed. Our results suggest that this type of deformable robot has a potential for travelling along confined spaces.