An Integrated Compliant Fabric Skin Softens, Lightens, and Simplifies a Mesh Robot

  • Anna MehringerEmail author
  • Akhil Kandhari
  • Hillel Chiel
  • Roger Quinn
  • Kathryn Daltorio
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10384)


Earthworms are particularly skilled at navigating through confined spaces. Therefore, creating a soft robot that mimics their peristaltic locomotion could provide unique advantages for pipe inspection, search and rescue, exploration, and medical applications. Here we present the design of a new robot, FabricWorm, that like its predecessor, CMMWorm, has six segments that are actuated with circumferential cables sequentially to mimic the peristaltic motion in an earthworm. However, compared to its predecessor, FabricWorm is 41% softer, is 23% lighter, and has 64% fewer rigid structural components due to the integration of the mesh within a fabric skin. These improvements, and the benefit of a continuous fabric skin, can be important advantages for worm-like robots.


Textiles in soft robotics Earthworm –like peristaltic locomotion Biological inspiration 



This work was supported by NSF research Grant No. IIS-1065489.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Mehringer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Akhil Kandhari
    • 1
  • Hillel Chiel
    • 2
  • Roger Quinn
    • 1
  • Kathryn Daltorio
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Biology, Neurosciences and Biomedical EngineeringCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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