Towards a terramechanics for bio-inspired locomotion in granular environments

Chen Li*, Yang Ding, Nick Gravish, Ryan D. Maladen, Andrew Masse, Paul Umbanhowar, Haldun Komsuoglu, Daniel E. Koditschek, Daniel I. Goldman

*Corresponding author for this work

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

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Granular media (GM) present locomotor challenges for terrestrial and extraterrestrial devices because they can flow and solidify in response to localized intrusion of wheels, limbs, and bodies. While the development of airplanes and submarines is aided by understanding of hydrodynamics, fundamental theory does not yet exist to describe the complex interactions of locomotors with GM. In this paper, we use experimental, computational, and theoretical approaches to develop a terramechanics for bio-inspired locomotion in granular environments. We use a fluidized bed to prepare GM with a desired global packing fraction, and use empirical force measurements and the Discrete Element Method (DEM) to elucidate interaction mechanics during locomotion-relevant intrusions in GM such as vertical penetration and horizontal drag. We develop a resistive force theory (RFT) to account for more complex intrusions. We use these force models to understand the locomotor performance of two bio-inspired robots moving on and within GM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEarth and Space 2012 - Proceedings of the 13th ASCE Aerospace Division Conference and the 5th NASA/ASCE Workshop on Granular Materials in Space Exploration
Pages264-273
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012
Event13th Biennial ASCE Aerospace Division International Conference on Engineering, Science, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environments, Earth and Space 2012 and the 5th NASA/ASCE Workshop on Granular Materials in Space Exploration - Pasadena, CA, United States
Duration: Apr 15 2012Apr 18 2012

Other

Other13th Biennial ASCE Aerospace Division International Conference on Engineering, Science, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environments, Earth and Space 2012 and the 5th NASA/ASCE Workshop on Granular Materials in Space Exploration
CountryUnited States
CityPasadena, CA
Period4/15/124/18/12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Building and Construction

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    Li, C., Ding, Y., Gravish, N., Maladen, R. D., Masse, A., Umbanhowar, P., Komsuoglu, H., Koditschek, D. E., & Goldman, D. I. (2012). Towards a terramechanics for bio-inspired locomotion in granular environments. In Earth and Space 2012 - Proceedings of the 13th ASCE Aerospace Division Conference and the 5th NASA/ASCE Workshop on Granular Materials in Space Exploration (pp. 264-273)