- Tram Ho
Robots are good at exploring land, sea, sky and space, but moving underground is not easy. However, engineers at the University of Santa Barbara in California (UCSB) and the Georgia Tech Institute of Technology have developed a snake-like robot that uses a variety of methods to dig deep through sand or soft soil.
Snakes have long been the inspiration for many robot models. Due to their relative simplicity in motion, they are the inspiration for creating robots that help explore environments such as sand dunes, seabeds, pipelines, nuclear power plants and even exploration. whole human body.
Of course, the biggest barrier here is more resistance when it comes to contact with the soil, even in granular materials that move easily like sand and soil, compared to water or air. The UCSB and Georgia Tech team, though, have developed a robot that can solve that problem in several ways.
The new design of the soft robot model can now move by “growing” from its head, like a creeper. This has helped it during underground adventures because the tip is the only moving part, the friction is much lower than the whole body of the robot. To make it even easier to move, a device was attached to the robot’s head to blow air in front of it and push the sand aside to clear the way.
But there is another challenge, that while moving horizontally through the sand, the robot tends to rise until it floats to the surface. That’s the basic principle because there is less pressure from a small amount of sand above the robot than from the pressure of compressed sand below it.
To solve this problem, the team built a robot model that also shoots air downwards to reduce friction. Adding a wedge in front of the robot, inspired by a sand fish lizard, also contributes to ventilation when moving.
As a result, the researchers created a small robot prototype that can move with relative ease through dry, granular materials. It can avoid obstacles by twisting and spinning like a snake or diving into the sand and coming up on the other side.
The team says the design could be useful for things like taking soil samples and installing underground pipes and cables.
The research was published in the journal Science Robotics, and you can see the snake robot in action in the video below:
Introducing the snake robot model capable of moving under the sand and the ground
Refer to Newatlas
Source : Genk