Paper-06 | Reg. No.:20130406|DOI:V1I4P06
Multiple Styles Crawling ROBOT The SandBot
Crabs make walking on sand look so easy. It’s a simple motion that has so far baffled scientists who have unsuccessfully tried to recreate the movement in legged robots. Sand, it turns out, is one of the most difficult terrains for a robot to conquer. Sand is slippery, for one thing, and it is also inherently unstable: Its properties can easily flip between solid and fluid behaviour in the course of a single footstep. Physicists still don’t have a complete picture of the mechanics of sand, which is why we’ve turned our attention to the lizard and the clever strategies it has evolved to cope with sandy terrain. For example, we have noticed that the lizard’s long toes sink deep into the sand at each step. It appears that this allows it to push off from sand that’s deeper and more solid than the less stable surface layer. The effect, preliminary evidence suggests, is that the sinking enables the lizard to run as if on hard ground, allowing it to maintain speeds up to 75 percent of its pace on solid ground. Desert animals deal with sand with different levels of success, and their techniques provide valuable clues for refining SandBot.