CONCLUSIONS. This research shows that a mobile spherical robot can integrate an active exoskeleton and can achieve locomotion as a spherical mobile robot and as a bionic sea urchin by leveraging existing developments in mechatronics and soft robotics.
This capability could unleash the full potential of a new generation of autonomous-dexterous spherical mobile robots to address the needs in rescue robotics, in-pipe robotics, surveillance and entertainment.
There are still important limitations: Although the active exoskeleton and spherical robot were controlled and their sequence was hard-code through a considerable engineering effort. One can envision autonomous particle robots to be miniaturized, moving inside the human body as spheres with their spines hidden inside healthy veins. While, inside cluttered veins they can rotate with their spines extended cleaning the veins.
NEXT STEPS. One of the next steps is to integrate lighter and stronger mechanical elements in the paritcle robots, such as carbon fiber and titanium. In order to miniaturize the particles for 3D swarm robotic formation.
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