Getting grip in changing environments: the effect of friction anisotropy inversion on robot locomotion

Halvor T. Tramsen*, Lars Heepe, Jettanan Homchanthanakul, Florentin Wörgötter, Stanislav N. Gorb, Poramate Manoonpong


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Legged locomotion of robots can be greatly improved by bioinspired tribological structures and by applying the principles of computational morphology to achieve fast and energy-efficient walking. In a previous research, we mounted shark skin on the belly of a hexapod robot to show that the passive anisotropic friction properties of this structure enhance locomotion efficiency, resulting in a stronger grip on varying walking surfaces. This study builds upon these results by using a previously investigated sawtooth structure as a model surface on a legged robot to systematically examine the influences of different material and surface properties on the resulting friction coefficients and the walking behavior of the robot. By employing different surfaces and by varying the stiffness and orientation of the anisotropic structures, we conclude that with having prior knowledge about the walking environment in combination with the tribological properties of these structures, we can greatly improve the robot’s locomotion efficiency.

TidsskriftApplied Physics A
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2021

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© 2021, The Author(s).


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