Schwizer, P.

Bio-Inspired Foot Design for a Salamander Robot

The study of animal locomotion is nowadays closely related to robotics. Bio-inspired robots are therefore used to study and reproduce animal locomotion patterns and neural networks. But one aspect has not been studied yet in depth: the role of fingers and compliance at the foot level. Nowadays, most of the existing robots do not use fingers, but they could actually improve different characteristics of the whole system because they equip the robot with additional adaptability and compliance at the foot level. Some of these improvements might be: better traction, terrain adaptation, increased. speed, locomotion efficiency, additional damping and swimming efficiency. In order to study the role of compliance and fingers at the foot level, this project aims at designing a bio-inspired foot for a salamander robot. In a first step, the anatomy of a salamander is studied and on the basis of this analysis, a foot is designed. In a first approach, in the scope of this project, only passive elements are used therefore. To actually test and verify the final design of the foot with fingers, prototypes have to be built and tested with the existing salamander robot.

Final semester project report here.