Bio-inspired Robotics

The Biological inspired robotics research lineup is mainy focused on the biomimetic issue of biological systems. We take advantage of new developments in materials, fabrication technology and sensors in order to approach bio-inspiration to an artifical counterpart in terms of: morphology, locomotion, and behaviour.
Bio-mimetic Fish Design using Smart Materials  
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The robotic fish can imitate carangiform and sub-carangiform swimmers, and is actuated by artificial muscles technology. Muscles location and functioning imitates the red slow-twitch muscles that are used during steady swimming. The purpose of this research is to study and reproduce fish swimming patterns in order to analyze efficient underwater locomotion and maneuverability. 
The model is made of a bendable structure, divided into three segments, each actuated by two antagonist muscles made with smart materials technology, concretely Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs).
 
 
Non-wheeled snake-like robots
 
Generally speaking, snakes can adapt to a particular terrain employing changes in their muscles-shape. This potential provides snakes with higher rough terrain adaptability on irregular surfaces compared to legged animals, not to mention wheeled robots.

We use a snake-like robot for
-Energy-efficient locomotion
-Model surface friction
-Distributed control.
 
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BaTbot: a bio-inspired morphing-wing flapping MAV (in cooperation with Fluid Mechanics Laboratory at Brown University)  

BaTboT is a bio-inspired bat-like aerial vehicle that uses smart materials that allow the robot to change wing morphology during flapping. Shape Memory Alloys (SMA-based) muscles are used as the muscular actuation system that power the wing-skeleton structure of the bat.
This research is oriented torwads:
- Analyzing in-vivo kinematics of bat flight.
- Understanding bat aerodynamics.
- Dynamics/aerodynamics modeling of flapping and morphing wings.
- Improving performance of current SMA-based actuation technology.
- Developing a bio-inspired bat robot.
- Controlling bat flight regarding SMA actuation, and nonlinear bat physical behavior.
 

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