Perspectives on biologically inspired hybrid and multi-modal locomotion

Abstract : In recent years, much attention has been directed to building robots with hybrid and multi-modal locomotion in air, water and on the ground. This rise in interest is due to the enormous requirements of multi-domain earthquake rescue, pollution monitoring, natural species discovery and other applications in which multi-modal locomotion can offer unprecedented advantages to robot mobility. Swimming, crawling, rolling, walking, running, jumping and flying are quite common in the animal kingdom, and such locomotion occurs in very different physical environments. Interestingly, an animal may perform two or more modes of locomotion. For instance, turtles and salamanders can swim underwater and walk on land, while swans can swim and fly effectively. Their often remarkable abilities could inspire innovative designs to improve the way man-made systems operate in and interact with challenging outdoor environments consisting of multiple media. Modes of locomotion in nature can be decomposed broadly into three categories: terrestrial, aerial and aquatic. There are situations in which the distinction between categories is vague, such as movement on the surface of water or in underground tunneling. However, generally, the types of locomotion used by animals can be categorized into one of these three areas. The primary venue of locomotion for many animals tends to be mono-modal; the majority of their task-space demands only a singular modality, with minimal need of alternative morphologies for transportation. The fundamental reason for multi-modal animal locomotion is for survival. The need for these multiple modes can arise from different requirements related to survival, including fast escape, fast pursuit, searching for food, breeding, nesting, conserving energy and migration. The paper presents a brief survey on the recent application works of hybrid and multi-modal locomotion.
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K. H. Low, T. Hu, Samer Mohammed, J. Tangorra, M. Kovac. Perspectives on biologically inspired hybrid and multi-modal locomotion. Bioinspiration and Biomimetics, IOP Publishing, 2015, 10 (2). ⟨hal-01538504⟩

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