A Soft Sensorized Foot Module to Understand Anisotropic Terrains during Soft Robot Locomotion

Saravana Prashanth Murali Babu*, Francesco Visentin, Ali Sadeghi, Alessio Mondini, Barbara Mazzolai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The ability to move on an unstructured terrain and in confined spaces greatly increases the number of tasks terrestrial robots can carry out. To achieve this goal, robots should be aware of the different terrains on which they are moving. Here we present a soft sensorized foot module that can be used to better understand the interactions between the foot and the surfaces. The foot module detects force with repeatable and reliable information on flat, unstructured, and inclined surfaces. By characterizing the foot, we investigated the force interaction between the foot and the variable surface in three different conditions: i) normal loading on flat surface, ii) normal loading with obstacles (unstructured surface), and iii) tangential force. We further validated the measured forces applied by the soft foot module during a locomotion task performed both on flat and inclined surfaces. This study provides a better understanding of the interactions between the foot and the terrain and opens up to new way to design soft robots able to locomote on unstructured terrains.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9064564
Pages (from-to)4055-4061
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Robotics and automation letters
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Soft robot application
  • soft robot materials and design
  • soft sensors and actuators

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