Brandon Luu

Electrical Engineering

Designing and Optimizing Snake Robot Locomotion

Although legged robots are widely used for locomotion purposes, they are somewhat limited to wide spaces and flat surfaces for high mobility. The snake robot provides a unique solution to move through small, cluttered areas, just as a biological snake is adept to complex and versatile terrain. These physical properties can be useful in search and rescue operations, exploring frontiers, and surgical applications, where navigating through small passages is essential. Snakes can alter their movements/gaits and contour their bodies to adapt to terrains by nature of asymmetrical friction or by use of their environment to propel themselves forward. The snake can thus optimize for speed and energy efficiency when crossing any type of terrain by switching between modes of movement. By accurately simulating the physical properties of a multi-link snake model, the effectiveness of such a model can be evaluated for various methods of locomotion.

UC Santa Barbara Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships UCSB California NanoSystems Institute UC Santa Barbara’s Parents Fund Campaign for UC Santa Barbara