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Biologically Inspired Robots

Biologically Inspired Robots

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Published by Anand Patil

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Anand Patil on Jun 14, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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BVB-IEEE Manthan ‘06SAE-INDIA BVB Collegiate Club
ANITA B. KADAM SINCHAN A. MURGODanubk30@yahoo.comsinchan_murgod@yahoo.com
K.L.S.G.I.T. Belgaum
This report is about biologically inspired robotsor biomimetic robots which mimic living creatures such as insects, humans and birds. It also gives the basic definition, different projects,technological aspects and basic operations.This report gives a brief knowledge on working of sensor nervous and reaction part of biomimetic robots.We have discussed the flexible polymers EAP which are exclusively developed for making themuscles of these robots. Light weight energy sources are required for their function but these could be able to createhigh power for long time.We have elaborately explained the different researches happening on these robots. Thisreport also includes the fields where these canbe used and their future applications. May be some day we should be able to see these around us.
Introduction :
Biomimetic robots borrow theistructures and senses from animals and insects.Their abilities are copied from Earth’s greatestexamples of success, living organisms; they tendto function better in the unpredictable real worldthan the controlled artifice of a lab. Roboticsengineers are able to blend expertise from thefields of biology and computer engg . This report begins with basic definition of biomimeticrobots. Later the report concentrates ontechnological aspects which includes the basicoperation that drives these robots.It gives a brief knowledge on the working of sensor, nervousand reaction parts of biomimetc robots whichare built artificially in lab. taking intoconsideration the behaviour of living organisms.Several researches of living organism done have been included.Autonomous robots which may loolike living creatures can potentially address theneed to inpect structures with configurations thatare not predetermined.Making robots that are actuated by electroactive polymers, namely artificial muscles that arecontrolled by artificial intelligence would createa new reality with great potentials.These can move anywhere, on any surface and inversatile conditions and hence can be used indifferent fields. Still much has to be done on thisand requires more sophisticated technology andfund.
Biomimetic Robots:
Biologically inspired robots or Biomimetics is ageneral description for engg. A process or system that mimics biology.The term emerged from biochemistryand applies an infinite range of electronics,communication, mechanical and chemical phenomena, from cellular process to wholeorganism functions. Biomimetic robots borrowtheir structure and senses from animals such ashumans or insects. Their abilities are copiedfrom earth’s greatest examples of surface, livingorganisms: they tend to function better in theunpredictable real world than the controlledartifice of a laboratory. Robotics engineers areable to blend expertise from the fields of  biology & computer engineering.Strides made in biological researchmean we know much more about how animalssurvive, for instance deep-sea creatures' sensoryorgans or geckos' gravity-defying feet. Thespeed, power, and size of computers mean wecan create programs that mimicneurophysiological brain functions. Reverseengineering (tracking a result through its processto its source) has as a tenet that the cause exists.Therefore, just knowing there is an animal that can track moving objects while flying through spacewithout visible light, proves that it's possible. To picture such a biomimetic robot, you mightconsider its method of locomotion. Remember,such a robot would never have wheels on anaxle, but might wriggle like a worm or hop like a bird. It might have sensory "organs," like aninstrument to measure temperature. Also, itsabilities will probably be something humansaren't adapt at, like locating underwater mines or can't do tasks quickly enough .
Why Biomimetics
BVB-IEEE Manthan ‘06SAE-INDIA BVB Collegiate Club
Insects, achieve exceptional physicalrobustness and an ability to accomplish basic tasks such as locomotion despite large perturbations in the environment.
Insects are ideal for these studies because of their comparatively simple motor controlsystems.
Insects have the ability to walk, climb, crawland fly which makes them suitable for manyapplications.
These are small in size
Technology behind ...CPG :
Central Pattern Generators (CPGs) areneuronal groups that produce rhythmic patternedoutput without rythmic sensory or central input,and are responsible for most instances of rythmicmovement found in nature, such as wingflapping, walking and breathing. Central toCPGs is the half-centre oscillator, a pair of neurons that are reciprocally coupled (firing oneinhibits the other) to produce rythmicity. CPGsexist in the spine in vertebrates, thereforeallowing spinal trauma victims to regain motor function through intense treadmill exercise.Recently it was found that it is possible to regainsome locomotor activity in patients sufferingfrom an incomplete spinal cord injury throughintense training on a treadmill. The ideas behindthis approach owe much to insights that humansmay have a central pattern generator folocomotion located at spinal level. Rhythmicmotor patterns comprise a large part of the suiteof mechanisms that contribute towards thecontrol of an animal.They are complex (unlike reflexes) andrepetitive, and are caused by central patterngenerators Central pattern generators areneuronal groups that produce rhythmic patternedoutput without rhythmic sensory or central input,and are responsible for most instances of rhythmic movement found in nature, such aswing flapping, walking and breathing.Central to CPGs is the half-centreoscillator, a pair of neurons that are reciprocallycoupled (firing one inhibits the other) to producerhythmicity. Looking at the figure, thereciprocally coupled neurons are labelled 1 and2. Neuron 1 is excited by a sensory neuron, andthis excitation causes neuron 1 to, after a delay,excite neuron 2 that produces an output, but alsohas an inhibitory effect on neuron 1, causing it tostop firing. Once the inhibition of neuron 1 hasstopped, the sensory input refires neuron 1 andthe process is repeated.This leads to a rhythmic output to theeffector neuron. CPGs exist in the spine invertebrates, therefore allowing spinal traumavictims to regain motor function through intensetreadmill exercise. Recently it was found that itis possible to regain some locomotor activity in patients suffering from an incomplete spinal cordinjury (SCI) through intense training on atreadmill. The ideas behind this approach owemuch to insights that humans may have a central pattern generator for locomotion located at spinallevel.their spinal.Biomimetic CPGs have been used in severalresearch projects in order to provide repetitiveactuation to control locomotion. Examples of  biomimetic projects that use CPGs include theRobotuna project and hexapod walking control.The simplest types of controlmovements are reflexes, which are involuntary.There are several defined types of reflex, of which the Myotatic Reflex is the simplest type invertebrates, dependent upon two types of neuron- a sensory fibre and a motoneuron. A familiar example of the Myotatic Reflex exists in theform of the knee jerk evoked by tapping with ahammer. Reflexive control obviously isobviously important in fastresponse actions suchas withdrawing a limb from danger, but reflexivecontrol also has the ability to coordinate limbmotion in a fashion that produces directed,locomotive behaviour, by employing proprioreceptors in the limbs that trigger reactive movement upon certain a certainstimulation.
BVB-IEEE Manthan ‘06SAE-INDIA BVB Collegiate Club
Several of the neuronal circuits thatunderpin these types of control have been wellinvestigated in several invertebrates, and this has provided the inspiration for the construction of  biomimetic robots.Lobster chemotaxis to guideorientationrelated behaviour in the sea. Work into biomimetic reproduction of control usingreflex driven methods also includes work on theSahabot, and several others. (Cataglyphis),which detects polarised light.Fly visual behaviour, in particular theoptomotor response (the use of visual motioninformation to estimate selfrotation and actuate acompensatory torque response to maintainstability during flight.
The beginning of the field of EAP can be traced back to an 1880 experiment that wasconducted by Roentgen using a rubber band withfixed end and a mask attached to the free end,that was charged and discharged.Generally there are many polymers thatexhibit volume or shape change in response to perturbation of the balance between intemolecular forces, which act to expand the polymer network, and attractive forces that ac tto shrink it. Repulsive forces are usuallyelectrostatic or hydrophobic in nature, whereasattraction is mediated by hydrogen bondinginteractions. The competitions between thesecounter acting forces, and hence the volume or shape changes, can be controlled by subtlechanges in parameters such as solvent, gelcomposition, temperature, Ph, light etc. This typeof polymer can be activated by electrical and nonelectrical means.As polymers, EAP materials can beeasily formed in various shapes. There propertiescan be engineered and they can be potentially beintegrated with micro electro mechanical system(MEMS) sensors to produce smart actuators. Asmentioned they are most attractive features istheir ability to emulate the operation of  biological muscles with high fracture toughness,large activation is strain and inherent vibrationdamping. Unfortunately the EAP materials thathave been developed so far are still exhibitinglow conversion efficiency, are not robust, andtheir are no standard commercial materialsavailable.Given fig. demonstrates the flexibility of EAPactuators.The easy capability to produce EAP invarious shapes and configurations can beexploited using such methods asstereolithography and ink-jet printingtechniques. Such processing methods offer the potential of making robots in full 3D detailsincluding EAP actuators allowing rapid prototyping. Making insect like robots couldhelp inspection hard to reach areas of thestructures. These creatures can be launch toconduct the inspection procedure.
Power Sources :
Allowing half an ounce for a payload suchas a guidance system, video camera or transmitter leaves only 3‡ ounces for the bodyand propulsion system. Finding a power-sourcethat is light enough to fit these specifications, butcan still create a some useful power is the biggest headache for the designers. Fortunatelythere is a plethora of power sources undedevelopment for designers to choose from. Thereare four main contenders for the engine , 
Internal combustion
:Engines have the advantage that modelaircraft enthusiasts are already using a number of very small engines. These engines are already in production and are a cheap and maturetechnology. The Cox 010, built by Estes, is thesmallest mass-produced internal combustionengine in the world. The engine is only 0.01cubic inches, but it can turn a 2 inch prop at30,000 rpm and produces about 40 Watts of  power. Despite fulfilling the criteria for size, theCox 010, and other internal combustion engines,have a number of drawbacks.
Electric motor :
The second option under considerationis the electric motor. Electric flight offers the

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