Worm-Bot Slithers Around Obstacles
This month's entry to the category of "bots inspired
by yucky animals" comes from Jordan Boyle at the
University of Leeds ( www.leeds.ac.uk). His "worm-bot"
is patterned after the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans —
a 1 mm roundworm that slithers around in temperate
soils. C. elegans has the ability to move within a wide range
of speeds by varying its wiggle frequency, and yet it has
almost no detectable neural center. According to Boyle, "It
has an unusually small nervous system, comprising just
over 300 neurons. Rather than using a central neural
subcircuit as a pattern generator, it seems to generate its
undulatory motion using around 100 neurons in a way
largely driven by feedback from stretch sensors along its
body." Much like its inspiration, the worm-bot doesn't
pay any attention to its surroundings; it just keeps on
wiggling until it gets where it's going. The machine differs
from C. elegans in various ways, particularly in being about
2 m ( 6. 6 ft) in length and having a rigid, snake-like
backbone. Given an appropriate skin, the next model
should be able to swim in water or crawl through mud. The final version is envisioned as a useful tool for search-and-rescue
operations in which it look for survivors trapped in collapsed buildings. SV
micrograph of a
Courtesy of the
Max Planck Institute.
Introducing the MEGAMOTO!
; 7V-28V - H-bridge or Dual Half-bridge
; 13A Continuous -
; Current sensor output can be sent to any analog pin
; Up to three units can be stacked on one Uno/Duemilanove
; Independent half-bridges can control brushless/steppers too!
High-Current motor control for Arduino;
NEW! Wasp RC Speed Control
; 6V-28V - 10A / 30A peak!
; Limit switch inputs
; Tiny size 1.85” x 0.65”
Dalf Motion Control System
; Closed-loop control of two motors
; Full PID position/velocity loop
; Trapezoidal path generator
; Windows GUI for all features
; Giant Servo Mode!
; C source for routines provided
; PIC18F6722 CPU
Phone: 253-843-2504 ; email@example.com
SERVO 10.2011 9