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A Novel Water Running Robot Inspired by Basilisk Lizards

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4 Author(s)
Steven Floyd ; NanoRobotics Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, PA 15213, USA ; Terence Keegan ; John Palmisano ; Metin Sitti

This paper introduces a novel robot which can run on the surface of water in a manner similar to basilisk lizards. Previous studies on the lizards themselves have characterized their method of propulsion and their means of staying afloat. By slapping and stroking their feet into the water, the lizard effects a momentum transfer which provides both forward thrust and lift. The design of a biomimetic robot utilizing similar principles is discussed, modeled, and prototyped. Functionally, the robot uses a pair of identical four bar mechanisms, with a 180deg phase shift to achieve bipedal locomotion on the water's surface. Computational and experimental results are presented and reviewed with the focus being a maximization of the lift to power ratio. After optimization, two legged models can experimentally provide 12-15 g/W of lift while four legged models can provide 50 g/W of lift. This work opens the door for bipedal and quadrupedal robots to become ambulatory over both land and water, and represents a first step toward studies in amphibious stride patterns; step motions equally conducive to propulsion on water and land

Published in:

2006 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems

Date of Conference:

9-15 Oct. 2006