Multi-directional crawling robot with soft actuators and electroadhesive grippers

Krishna Manaswi Digumarti, Chongjing Cao, Jianglong Guo, Andrew T. Conn, Jonathan Rossiter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

12 Citations (Scopus)
328 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents the design of a planar, low profile, multi-directional soft crawling robot. The robot combines soft electroactive polymer actuators with compliant electroadhesive feet. A theoretical model of a multi-sector dielectric elastomer actuator is presented. The relation between actuator stroke and blocking force is experimentally validated. Electrostatic adhesion is employed to provide traction between the feet of the robot and the crawling surface. Shear force is experimentally determined and forces up to 3N have been achieved with the current pad design. A 2D multi-directional gait is demonstrated with the robot prototype. Speeds up to 12mm/s (0.1 body-lengths/s) have been observed. The robot has the potential to move on a variety of surfaces and across gradients, a useful ability in scenarios involving exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft 2018)
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of a meeting held 24-28 April 2018, Livorno, Italy
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781538645161
ISBN (Print)9781538645178
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event1st IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics, RoboSoft 2018 - Livorno, Italy
Duration: 24 Apr 201828 Apr 2018


Conference1st IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics, RoboSoft 2018

Structured keywords

  • Tactile Action Perception


  • Soft Robotics
  • dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs)
  • Electroadhesion

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