Caterpilike: イモムシに着想を得た柔らかいロボット
Caterpilie: a soft-bodied robot inspired by caterpillars

2017年04月19日

我々の生活環境には、高所の細い枝や電線の上など、ヒトの重さや大きさではアクセスが難しい空間が無尽蔵に存在する。この広大な空間を意のままに動き回る、安くて、小型のロボットが実現できれば、その商用的・産業的価値は計り知れない。我々は、そのような空間で3億5千万年も生き抜いてきたイモムシに学び、柔らかいボディを持ち、その無限とも言える自由度をシンプルに制御できるソフト・ロボットの開発を行っている。
There is vast and inexhaustible space in our living and natural environments on high and thin branches of trees, on electric lines and inside a bush, to which a human cannot access due to the weight and size. A small, cheap, and light-weight robot that is able to move around adaptively and resiliently in such space has huge potential as a next-generation IoT device or a smart matter. Caterpillars are excellent living models to design this vision since they have evolved over millions of years to produce effective locomotion by orchestrating the large degrees of freedom in their deformable and continuum bodies without massively complex brains. We are developing a soft-bodied robot that can be maneuvered by a simple controller inspired by caterpillars.