Single motor actuated peristaltic wave generator for a soft bodied worm robot

Winstone, B., Pipe, A. G., Melhuish, C., Callaway, M., Etoundi, A. and Dogramadzi, S. (2016) Single motor actuated peristaltic wave generator for a soft bodied worm robot. In: BioRob 2016 - IEEE International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, Singapore, 26-29 June 2016. Available from:

PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License All Rights Reserved.


Publisher's URL:


This paper presents the design and development of a single motor actuated peristaltic worm robot with three segments using a bio-inspired method of locomotion with one actuator that achieves optimised worm like peristaltic motion. Each segment consists of two solid circular disks that have a tendon connected through to the drive mechanism using a Bowden cable and a soft rubber skin that deforms under the compression of the tendon. Our hypothesis that a tuned peristaltic waveform can achieve improved performance of locomotion distance and clamping strength is proven using an initial test platform capable of demonstrating varying waveform types with multiple actuators. Three experiments were undertaken: (i) moving along a flat surface, (ii) moving through a confined tunnel (iii) moving through a confined tunnel whilst pulling a payload. Results from these experiments have identified the optimal parameters for a smart gearbox capable of achieving the same optimal peristaltic waveform signal as the more complex test platform but with only one actuator driving all three worm segments. Unlike other examples of peristaltic worm robots, this example uses a control method embedded within the mechanics of the design removing excessive number of actuators which contributes to miniaturisation, reduces power consumption and simplifies the overall design.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information:© 2016 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Bioinspired robotics, soft robotics, biomimetics
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Environment and Technology > Department of Computer Science and Creative Technologies
ID Code:29387
Deposited By: B. Winstone
Deposited On:22 Nov 2016 09:52
Last Modified:04 Mar 2018 02:07

Request a change to this item

Total Document Downloads in Past 12 Months

Document Downloads

Total Document Downloads

More statistics for this item...