Title page for ETD etd-09182006-152023

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Ingram, Mark Edward
Author's Email Address meingram@vt.edu
URN etd-09182006-152023
Title Whole Skin Locomotion Inspired by Amoeboid Motility Mechanisms: Mechanics of the Concentric Solid Tube Model
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hong, Dennis W. Committee Chair
Reinholtz, Charles F. Committee Member
Sturges, Robert H. Committee Member
  • Robotics
  • Amoeba
  • Whole Skin Locomotion
  • Biomimetic
Date of Defense 2006-08-10
Availability unrestricted
As the technology of robotics intelligence advances, and new application areas for mobile robots increase, the need for alternative fundamental locomotion mechanisms for robots that allow them to maneuver into complex unstructured terrain becomes critical. In this research we present a novel locomotion mechanism for mobile robots inspired by the motility mechanism of certain single celled organisms such as amoebae. Whole Skin Locomotion (WSL), as we call it, works by way of an elongated toroid which turns itself inside out in a single continuous motion, effectively generating the overall motion of the cytoplasmic streaming ectoplasmic tube in amoebae.

This research presents the preliminary analytical study towards the design and development of the novel WSL mechanism. In this thesis we first investigate how amoebas move, then discuss how this motion can be replicated. By applying the biological theories of amoeboid motility mechanisms, different actuation models for WSL are developed including the Fluid Filled Toroid (FFT) and Concentric Solid Tube (CST) models. Then, a quasi-static force analysis is performed for the CST model and parametric studies for design, including power efficiency and force transition characteristics, are presented.

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