Journal article Open Access

Characterization of the Growing From the Tip as Robot Locomotion Strategy

Del Dottore, Emanuela; Mondini, Alessio; Sadeghi, Ali; Mazzolai, Barbara

Growing robots are a new class of robots able to move in the environment exploiting a growing from the tip process (movement by growing). Thanks to this property, these robots are able to navigate 3D environments while negotiating confined spaces and large voids by adapting their body. During the exploration of the environment, the tip of the robot is able to move in any direction and can be kinematically considered as a non-holonomic mobile system. In this paper, we show the kinematics of robot growing at its tip level. We also present the affordable workspace analyzed by an evaluation of feasible trajectories toward target poses. The geometrical key parameters imposing constraints on growing robots' workspace are discussed, in view of facing different possible application scenarios. The proposed kinematics was applied to a plant-inspired growing robot moving in a 3D environment in simulation, obtaining ~2 cm error after 1 m of displacement. With appropriate parametrization, the proposed kinematic model is able to describe the motion from the tip in robots able to grow.

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