Robots are fascinating inventions in all their shapes and forms. They give us a glimpse into the future potential of human technology.
However, most current generation robots also show the limitation of human technology, as despite their advancements, they still aren’t able to navigate the dynamic terrains of the human world.
While there are some robots, like Google’s Spot Mini, that do feature some really intuitive and advanced locomotive systems, they still remain just prototypes as the cost of those systems is too high to be practical.
A possible solution for this issue is to create simple movement systems that use a limited amount of machinery to get high performance.
As you can guess, making this happen is as complicated as it sounds, however, an inventor by the name of David Zarrouk has already made it happen.
What we are talking about is a one of a kind Single-Actuator Wave Robot, or SAW, which can move forward or backward by producing a continuously advancing wave.
The movement of the robot can be compared to a famous dance move, called the worm, which in itself is a large amplitude continuously advancing sine wave.
This wave is produced with the help of a single motor, which is responsible for rotating a rigid spine, embedded inside a series of rigid 3D-printed plastic links.
The movement of the spine also moves the links in a vertical up and down movement. This movement helps the robot propel forward in a single continuing movement.
While this unique design does help remove the need for complicated parts that need constant maintenance, it does still come with it’s own limitations.
What we are referring to is the fact that the propulsion system only works in one dimension. This is why the design also uses wheels, which help the robot steer in different directions.
This sort of movement derives it’s inspiration from the motion of tiny organisms that live in the ocean and use a similar kind of system to generate momentum.
This is a great demonstration of how nature inspires us at every turn. Still, the project isn’t finished. The researchers are now focusing on finding ways to make this system even better, with the help of different spinal structures and navigation systems.
Another goal is to give the robot the ability of changing it’s speed and direction on the fly. This will help make the robot truly capable of tackling all sorts of terrains.
We are quite excited about the possibilities of this design and promise to keep you updated on all future developments.