Scalable Simulation and Demonstration of Jumping Piezoelectric 2-D Soft Robots

Zhiwu Zheng, Prakhar Kumar, Yenan Chen, Hsin Cheng, Sigurd Wagner, Minjie Chen, Naveen Verma, James C. Sturm

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Soft robots have drawn great interest due to their ability to take on a rich range of shapes and motions, compared to traditional rigid robots. However, the motions, and underlying statics and dynamics, pose significant challenges to forming well-generalized and robust models necessary for robot design and control. In this work, we demonstrate a five-actuator soft robot capable of complex motions and develop a scalable simulation framework that reliably predicts robot motions. The simulation framework is validated by comparing its predictions to experimental results, based on a robot constructed from piezoelectric layers bonded to a steel-foil substrate. The simulation framework exploits the physics engine PyBullet, and employs discrete rigid-link elements connected by motors to model the actuators. We perform static and AC analyses to validate a single-unit actuator cantilever setup and observe close agreement between simulation and experiments for both the cases. The analyses are extended to the five-actuator robot, where simulations accurately predict the static and AC robot motions, including shapes for applied DC voltage inputs, nearly-static 'inchworm' motion, and jumping (in vertical as well as vertical and horizontal directions). These motions exhibit complex non-linear behavior, with forward robot motion reaching 1 cm/s. Our open-source code can be found at: https://github.com/zhiwuz/sfers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2022 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2022
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages5199-5204
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781728196817
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022
Event39th IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2022 - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: May 23 2022May 27 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
ISSN (Print)1050-4729

Conference

Conference39th IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPhiladelphia
Period5/23/225/27/22

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering

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