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Modeling Soft Robot Motion in Zurich


IGERT Fellow Whitney Crooks spent 16 days in July/August 2013 doing research in Zurich, Switzerland, as a guest of Dr. Iida Fumiya at the Bio-Inspired Robotics lab at ETH. During her stay, she used SimMechanics software to model the motion of the Softworm, a soft-bodied caterpillar-like robot developed here at Tufts. Due to the Softworm’s intrinsic non-linear behavior, modeling its motion in traditional software proves difficult. Whitney developed a “continuous joint” model in which the Softworm is broken up into a large number of rigid links and joints that represent the Softworm’s high degree of freedom. She was able to successfully simulate the Softworm moving forward.