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Robotic metamorphosis by origami exoskeletons

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Science Robotics  27 Sep 2017:
Vol. 2, Issue 10, eaao4369
DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.aao4369
  • Fig. 1 Example of robotic metamorphosis by origami exoskeletons.

    Primer metamorphoses into Walk-bot and then to Wheel-bot, hierarchically equipping and obtaining different locomotion capabilities.

  • Fig. 2 Entire demonstrations of Scaled Walk-bot and Glider-bot.

    (A) Primer rolls remotely guided by a rotating magnetic field and can coalesce with Walk-bot self-folding sheet, the exoskeleton that encases and holds it. (B) Primer, which now features a minimal form for walking, supported by a tail for pitch stabilization, is forthwith capable of locomotion because of the eccentric body mass distribution (termed Walk-bot, the self-folding process in the small windows). (C and D) Walk-bot can further walk to another exoskeleton. The second exoskeleton can be equipped in the same way; it is held by self-folding arms that contain dissolving parts. After Walk-bot aligns on top of the latch module, the pit, four arms self-fold and hold Walk-bot such that Primer can transmit magnetic torque through the contact surface of the exoskeletons. At this point, the system morphs into a 2nd-shape (E), which has a larger but analogical morphology to Walk-bot (termed Scaled Walk-bot). (F) For “taking off” the second exoskeleton, Scaled Walk-bot enters a water reservoir where the four holding arms dissolve, and the released Walk-bot from the second exoskeleton can climb out of the reservoir and leave the exoskeleton discarded in the water. (G and H) Transformation of Walk-bot to Glider-bot and the gliding performance. Walk-bot acquires a wing and, assisted by a ramp, can reach 26 times its body length (129 cm) from the stage by gliding through the air from a height of 112 cm. See movies S1 to S4 for the entire experiments.

  • Fig. 3 Robotic metamorphic cycle.

    Starting as Primer at the top, the system morphs into the 1st-shape Walk-bot, as shown on the right. Walk-bot can subsequently transform into the 2nd-shape by integrating a self-folding exoskeleton. We demonstrate four capabilities—scaling up (Scaled Walk-bot), sailing (Boat-bot), rolling (Wheel-bot), and gliding (Glider-bot)—that can only be achieved by equipping exoskeletons, but other capabilities are also possible. The 2nd-shape can recover the morphologies of earlier stages by removing (“molting”) the exoskeleton. The disassembly process of the second exoskeleton transforming to Walk-bot can be performed by dissolving the holding arms in water. The disassembly process of Walk-bot, which is beyond the scope of this study, can be performed by making the body of Walk-bot dissolvable to a specific solvent. We demonstrated this process with polyester-made origami robots that could dissolve relevant body parts after submersion in the solvent (29).

  • Fig. 4 Comparison of locomotion speeds between Walk-bot and Scaled Walk-bot.

    With the scaled morphology, an increase in walking speed of more than 50% was observed. Error bars indicate SD.

  • Fig. 5 The platform, which consists of four solenoid coils, two Peltier elements, a water reservoir, and a ramp.
  • Fig. 6 Docking and molting mechanism.

    (A) Four arms, whose roots are made of water-dissolvable material, tightly hold Walk-bot. (B) Upon immersion in water, the roots dissolve and release Walk-bot.

Supplementary Materials

  • robotics.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2/10/eaao4369/DC1

    Materials and Methods

    Fig. S1. The platform.

    Fig. S2. Walk-bot design.

    Fig. S3. Scaled Walk-bot design.

    Fig. S4. Wheel-bot design.

    Fig. S5. The rolling speed of Wheel-bot over frequency of magnetic field applied (five samples).

    Fig. S6. Demonstration of Wheel-bot.

    Fig. S7. Boat-bot design.

    Fig. S8. Demonstration with boat exoskeleton.

    Fig. S9. Glider-bot design.

    Table S1. Success and failure events with Scaled Walk-bot.

    Table S2. Success and failure events with Wheel-bot.

    Table S3. Success and failure events with Boat-bot.

    Table S4. Success and failure events with Glider-bot.

    Movie S1. Scaled Walk-bot as shown in Fig. 2.

    Movie S2. Wheel-bot as shown in fig. S6.

    Movie S3. Boat-bot as shown in fig. S8.

    Movie S4. Glider-bot as shown in Fig. 2.

    Reference (46)

  • Supplementary Materials

    Supplementary Material for:

    Robotic metamorphosis by origami exoskeletons

    Shuhei Miyashita,* Steven Guitron, Shuguang Li, Daniela Rus*

    *Corresponding author. Email: shuhei.miyashita{at}york.ac.uk (S.M.); rus{at}csail.mit.edu (D.R.)

    Published 27 September 2017, Sci. Robot. 2, eaao4369 (2017)
    DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.aao4369

    This PDF file includes:

    • Materials and Methods
    • Fig. S1. The platform.
    • Fig. S2. Walk-bot design.
    • Fig. S3. Scaled Walk-bot design.
    • Fig. S4. Wheel-bot design.
    • Fig. S5. The rolling speed of Wheel-bot over frequency of magnetic field applied (five samples).
    • Fig. S6. Demonstration of Wheel-bot.
    • Fig. S7. Boat-bot design.
    • Fig. S8. Demonstration with boat exoskeleton.
    • Fig. S9. Glider-bot design.
    • Table S1. Success and failure events with Scaled Walk-bot.
    • Table S2. Success and failure events with Wheel-bot.
    • Table S3. Success and failure events with Boat-bot.
    • Table S4. Success and failure events with Glider-bot.
    • Reference (46)

    Download PDF

    Other Supplementary Material for this manuscript includes the following:

    • Movie S1 (.mp4 format). Scaled Walk-bot as shown in Fig. 2.
    • Movie S2 (.mp4 format). Wheel-bot as shown in fig. S6.
    • Movie S3 (.mp4 format). Boat-bot as shown in fig. S8.
    • Movie S4 (.mp4 format). Glider-bot as shown in Fig. 2.

    Files in this Data Supplement:

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