3D Printing

3D printed snake robot

It creeps along the ground, it swims, and it even crawls up walls! SAW (single actuator wave-like robot) is the first robot that produces a pure wave-like motion with a single motor, “a novel bioinspired robot which can move forward or backward by producing a continuously advancing wave.” Its 3D printed spine is flexible, making it perfect to cover irregular terrain such as grass and gravel. It has passive wheels, which are only used for steering and not propulsion.

Snake robot in motion

Inspired by snakes, the robot was miniaturized to the size of a pen to see how well it functioned, with further studies being carried out to see how small it can be produced. The idea is to make it small enough to be placed in the intestines to carry out medical procedures. While the idea of that happening is kind of unsettling (to me at least), the great medical results it could produce are worth the ick factor.

Snake robot scale

This isn’t the first time the Israeli team led by designer David Zarrouk has revolutionized robotics. They have previously worked on robots based on the movements of inchworms, and other single motor robots.

About the Bio-inspired and Medical Robotics Lab team

Group: The group consists of the main PI (Dr. David Zarrouk), One postdoc, three MSc graduate students, Two part time engineers, two undergraduate researchers, 16 fourth year undergraduate students working on their final project, and multiple unique robots.

Research: Their research focuses on modeling design and manufacturing of unique robots. This includes miniature crawling robots and serial crawling robots for search and rescue applications, agricultural and medical purposes. They specialize in designing minimally actuated robots that are easy to control and operate. The team also focuses on modeling the interaction between the robots and slippery and compliant environments. The manufacturing techniques include machining, laser cutting, 3D printing.