A robot imitating the continuous wave peristaltic locomotion of earthworms for efficiency.
Earthworms use the method of continuous wave of peristalsis for locomotion, which is particularly effective in constrained spaces. Although the motion has been understood for some time, it has rarely been effectively or accurately implemented in a robotic platform. A group of researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, USA, presents a technique using a braided mesh exterior to produce smooth waves of motion along the body of a worm-like robot as an alternative to robots with long segments. The concept is highly scalable, and the soft worm robots may eventually have application in pipe inspection, burrowing, or exploration with lower energy loss, higher speed and efficiency at narrower radii.