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Factors Affecting Flipper-Based Robotic Locomotion in Complex Terrains
  • +1
  • Yasemin Ozkan Aydin,
  • Nnamdi Chikere,
  • John Mcelroy,
  • Yasemin Ozkan-Aydin
Yasemin Ozkan Aydin

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Nnamdi Chikere
Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame
John Mcelroy
School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, University College Dublin
Yasemin Ozkan-Aydin
Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame


Robots are becoming increasingly essential for traversing complex environments such as disaster areas, extraterrestrial terrains, and marine environments. Yet, their potential is often limited by mobility and adaptability constraints. In nature, various animals have evolved finely tuned designs and anatomical features that enable efficient locomotion in diverse environments. Sea turtles, for instance, possess specialized flippers that facilitate both longdistance underwater travel and adept maneuvers across a range of coastal terrains. Building on the principles of embodied intelligence and drawing inspiration from sea turtle hatchings, this paper examines the critical interplay between a robot's physical form and its environmental interactions, focusing on how morphological traits and locomotive behaviors affect terrestrial navigation. We present a bio-inspired robotic system and study the impacts of flipper/body morphology and gait patterns on its terrestrial mobility across di-1 verse terrains ranging from sand to rocks. Evaluating key performance metrics such as speed and cost of transport, our experimental results highlight adaptive designs as crucial for multi-terrain robotic mobility to achieve not only speed and efficiency but also the versatility needed to tackle the varied and complex terrains encountered in real-world applications.
19 May 2024Submitted to TechRxiv
25 May 2024Published in TechRxiv