Amoeba-like Robots in the Perspective of Control Architecture and Morphology/Materials

  • Hiroshi Yokoi
  • Takashi Nagai
  • Takashi Ishida
  • Masaru Fujii
  • Takayuki Iida


This paper provides a summary of the Amoeba-like robot research that is a part of the Morpho-Functional Machine Project. This research is a developmental trial of a new robot architecture with many degrees of freedom and large deformability, and it started from imitating NC4 (the cellular slime mould slug). The proposed designs for the amoeba-like robot are a Unit Based Control Architecture with field technique and deformable hardware structure. In the Unit Based Control Architecture, locomotive through self-body deformation, adaptive control of body shape depending on obstacle in the environment, and distributed functional learning are established. Two types of deformable hardware designs are proposed. One type consists of a group of distributed units and is named SMA-net. The SMA-net type is a lattice structured using shape memory alloy (SMA), and distributed units are arranged on all node of the lattice, where each unit includes controller, sensor, indicator and actuator. The other is a liquid type that drives mercury drops using MHD (magneto-hydro-dynamics) on a magnetic field. Based on evidence from performance tests using these two proposed architectures we suggested to define a so called morpho-rate as design index that shows the “design distance” from the locomotive functions of NC4. The summary shows a perspective of deformable robot design using morpho-rate.


Liquid Metal Mobile Robot Shape Memory Alloy Unit Group Periodic Pattern 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroshi Yokoi
    • 1
  • Takashi Nagai
    • 1
  • Takashi Ishida
    • 1
  • Masaru Fujii
    • 1
  • Takayuki Iida
    • 1
  1. 1.Complex System EngineeringHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

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