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Novel Design Principles and Technologies for a New Generation of High Dexterity Soft-bodied Robots Inspired by the Morphology and Behaviour of the Octopus

Novel Design Principles and Technologies for a New Generation of High Dexterity Soft-bodied Robots Inspired by the Morphology and Behaviour of the Octopus

Objective

The octopus is a marine invertebrate with amazing motor capabilities and intelligent behaviour. Its body has no rigid structures and has interesting characteristics, from an engineering viewpoint: infinite number of degrees of freedom (dof), bending in many different directions, variable and controllable stiffness, high dexterity, fine manipulation, highly distributed control. The octopus represents a biological demonstration of how effective behaviour in the real world is tightly related to the morphology of the body.The grand challenge of the OCTOPUS IP is investigating and understanding the principles that give rise to the octopus sensory-motor capabilities and at incorporating them in new design approaches and ICT and robotics technologies to build an embodied artefact, based broadly on the anatomy of the 8-arm body of an octopus, and with similar performance in water, in terms of dexterity, speed, control, flexibility, and applicability.The new technologies expected to result from the IP concern actuation (soft actuators), sensing (distributed flexible tactile sensors), control and robot architectures (distributed control, coordination of many dof), materials (variable stiffness), mechanisms (soft-bodied hydrostat structures), kinematics models.The final robotic octopus prototype will be capable of locomotion on different substrates, of squeezing into small apertures, of dextrous manipulation by coordinating the eight arms, of anchoring in order to exert forces on external environment; of controlling a flexible structure with virtually infinite dof.This IP is expected to achieve new science and new technology, demonstrated by joint publications and patents, through a truly interdisciplinary research work programme, by a consortium of engineering and biology groups, each involving diverse disciplines and all experienced in biomimetics, possessing, as a consortium, the best expertise available in Europe for pursuing the objectives of the IP.
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Coordinator

SCUOLA SUPERIORE DI STUDI UNIVERSITARI E DI PERFEZIONAMENTO S ANNA

Address

Piazza Martiri Della Liberta 33
56127 Pisa

Italy

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 2 000 000

Administrative Contact

Cecilia Laschi (Prof.)

Participants (7)

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UNIVERSITAT ZURICH

Switzerland

EU Contribution

€ 956 580

FOUNDATION FOR RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY HELLAS

Greece

EU Contribution

€ 844 459

THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM

Israel

EU Contribution

€ 1 059 460

WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE

Israel

EU Contribution

€ 781 556

FONDAZIONE ISTITUTO ITALIANO DI TECNOLOGIA

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 1 221 700

BRUNEL UNIVERSITY LONDON

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 238 462

THE UNIVERSITY OF READING

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 497 783

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 231608

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 February 2009

  • End date

    31 July 2013

Funded under:

FP7-ICT

  • Overall budget:

    € 9 762 763

  • EU contribution

    € 7 600 000

Coordinated by:

SCUOLA SUPERIORE DI STUDI UNIVERSITARI E DI PERFEZIONAMENTO S ANNA

Italy