Snakes are a remarkable evolutionary success story. Many snake-inspired robots have been proposed over the years. Soft robotic snakes (SRS) with their continuous and smooth bending capability better mimic their biological counterparts’ unique characteristics. Prior SRSs are limited to planar operation with a limited number of planar gaits. We propose a novel SRS with spatial bending and investigate snake locomotion gaits beyond the capabilities of the state-of-the-art systems. We derive a complete floating-base kinematic model of the robot and use the model to derive jointspace trajectories for serpentine and inward/outward rolling locomotion gaits. The locomotion gaits for the proposed SRS are experimentally validated under varying frequency and amplitude of gait cycles. The results qualitatively and quantitatively validate the SRS ability to leverage spatial bending to achieve locomotion gaits not possible with current SRS.
Assistant Professor, School of Computing
College of Computing & Digital Media
Isuru Godage is an Assistant Professor in the School of Computer. He holds a Ph.D. in Robotics, Cognition, and Interaction Technologies from the Italian Institute of Technology-University of Genova. Dr. Godage’s research interests include designing, modeling, analysis, and controlling of soft and modular robotics for search/rescue and healthcare applications. In addition to internal funding via URC and AGIF, Dr. Godage’s research is currently funded by NSF and NIH.