For over 90 years, researchers all ver the world have been trying to develop a wave movement-based system and finally Israeli scientists from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev succeeded in developing one that is unique, energy efficient and scalable.
The first Single Actuator Wave-like Robot (SAW) that produces a pure wave motion using a single motor has been developed for medical applications and extendable for search and rescue operations.
Developed by Dr. David Zarrouk of the ABC Robotics Initiative and head of the Bio-inspired and Medical Robotics Lab, the robot is strong, easy to manufacture, reliable and energy efficient enabling even long travel distances. “It can be scaled up for search and rescue and maintenance or miniaturized to a diameter of one cm or less to travel within the human body for medical purposes, such as imaging biopsies of the digestive system,” said Dr. Zarrouk.
It has a very good chance of traveling through the intestine for imaging and biopsy purposes. Also it can be used for security purpose like infiltrating problematic and complex areas, such as tunnels, destroyed buildings, pipes and the like.
Based on snake movement, albeit, in vertical and not perpendicular. Its top speed is 57 centimeters per second, five times faster than any similar robot and can climb or crawl through difficult surfaces like sand, grass and gravel. In tunnels, it can climb at a rate of 8 cm per second touching both sides and in water, it can swim at 6 cm a second.
The findings have been published in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics.