The wriggly gait of centipedes is well-known. They can move through any terrain without stopping thanks to their tens to hundreds of legs.
According to Daniel Goldman, the Dunn Family Professor in the School of Physics, “When you see a scurrying centipede, you’re basically seeing an animal that inhabits a world that is very different from our world of movement.” Inertia is largely in charge of our movement. I land on my foot and move forward when I swing my leg. However, in the world of centipedes, if they stop moving their limbs and body parts, they basically stop moving right away.
A group of physicists, engineers, and mathematicians at the Georgia Institute of Technology is making use of this style of movement to their advantage in order to investigate the possibility that the numerous limbs might be useful for locomotion in this world. They discovered that a robot with redundant legs could move across uneven surfaces without the need for additional sensing or control technology, as predicted by a new theory of multilegged locomotion and the creation of many-legged robotic models.
These robots have the ability to move over difficult, bumpy terrain. They could be used for agriculture, space exploration, and even search and rescue.
In the papers titled “Multilegged Matter Transport:,” the researchers described their findings. “Self-Propulsion via Slipping: A Framework for Locomotion on Noisy Landscapes,” published in Science in May, and In March, researchers published “Frictional Swimming in Multilegged Locomotors” in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
For the Science paper, the specialists were propelled by mathematician Claude Shannon’s correspondence hypothesis, which shows how to dependably send signals over distance, to comprehend the reason why a multilegged robot was so fruitful at velocity. According to the theory of communication, one way to guarantee that a message gets from A to B on a noisy line is to break it up into discrete digital units and repeat these units with the right code.
Baxi Chong, a postdoctoral researcher in physics, stated, “We were inspired by this theory, and we tried to see if redundancy could be helpful in matter transportation.” Thus, we began this task to witness what might assuming we had more legs on the robot: four, six, eight, or even sixteen legs.”
A theory developed by a group led by Chong and consisting of Professor Greg Blekherman and Daniel Irvine, a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Mathematics, suggested that the addition of leg pairs to the robot improves its capacity to move steadily over challenging surfaces. This idea is referred to as spatial redundancy. The robot’s legs can function independently thanks to this redundancy without the need for sensors to interpret the environment. The abundance of legs keeps it moving even if one leg fails. On difficult or “noisy” landscapes, the robot transforms into a reliable system for moving itself and even a load. The idea is similar to how, without having to engineer the environment, punctuality on wheeled transportation can be guaranteed if the track or rail is smooth enough.
Chong stated, “To control an advanced bipedal robot in real time, many sensors are typically required.” However, in applications like search and rescue, exploring Mars, and even micro robots, a robot with limited sensing must be driven. There are many purposes behind such without sensor drive. The sensors can be costly and delicate, or the conditions can change so quick that it doesn’t permit sufficient sensor-regulator reaction time.”
Juntao He, a robotics Ph.D. student, and Daniel Soto, a master’s student at the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, built terrains to resemble an inconsistent natural environment to test this. After that, he put the robot through its paces by gradually increasing the number of its legs by two, beginning with six and eventually increasing it to 16. According to the theory, the robot could move more quickly across the terrain even without sensors as the number of legs increased[PGR1]. Ultimately, they tried the robot outside on genuine territory, where navigating in different environments was capable.
Juntao stated, “It’s truly impressive to witness the multilegged robot’s proficiency in navigating both laboratory-based terrains and outdoor environments.” Our multilegged robot uses leg redundancy and can accomplish similar tasks with open-loop control, whereas bipedal and quadrupedal robots heavily rely on sensors to traverse complex terrain.”