Octahedral Robotics for Accessing Complex Cavities and Narrow Spaces


The goal of this project is to explore the potential of different octahedral robotic platforms for accessing different types of cavities, narrow spaces and pipes. So far we have constructed three real prototypes and one simulated version of the robot.

Figure 1 shows the real robots. OctaWorm-HYD is a simple hydraulic prototype constructed with inexpensive syringes. OctaWorm-ELEC is the electric version of the robot that uses Dynamixel AX12 servo motors. OctaWorm-PN is the pneumatic version of the robot constructed with pneumatic linear actuators.

The robot is able to negotiate complex in-pipe structures such as T-joints. The locomotion capabilities were tested in different real scenarios (see videos). We expect this type of machine might have future applications in medicine since the platform is able to anchor on the interior of soft cavities. Perhaps in the future, small OctaWorm robots might be able to travel inside blood  vessels.

Hydraulic, Electric and Pneumatic versions of the Octaworm Robot
Figure 1: a) OctaWorm-HYD a hydraulic prototype. b) OctaWorm-ELEC is the electric version. c) OctaWorm-PN is the pneumatic version of the robot.

Deformation modes
Figure2: Example of natural deformation modes of the robot explored under simulation.

Related publication:

J.C. Zagal, C. Armstrong,, S. Li., "Deformable Octahedron Burrowing Robot", ALIFE XIII: Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Conference on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems, 2012.


Pneumatic OctaWorm

Electric and Hydraulic Versions


jczagal at ing.uchile.cl