A pipe-climbing soft robot

Gaurav Singh, Sreekalyan Patiballa, Xiaotian Zhang, Girish Krishnan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper presents the design and testing of a bio-inspired soft pneumatic robot that can achieve locomotion along the outside of a cylinder. The robot uses soft pneumatic actuators called FREEs (Fiber Reinforced Elastomeric Enclosure), which can have a wide range of deformation behavior upon pressurization. The robot being soft and compliant can grasp and move along cylinders of varying dimensions. Two different types of FREEs are used in the robot namely (a) extending FREEs and (b) bending FREEs. These actuators are arranged in such a way that the bending actuators are used to grip the pipe while the extending actuators generate forward motion as well as bending for direction control. The modular design of the robot provides simplicity and ease of maintenance. The entire robot is made of flexible actuators and can withstand external impact with minimal to no damage. The maximum speed achieved for horizontal motion is 4.2 mm/s and for vertical motion is 2.1 mm/s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781538660263
StatePublished - May 2019
Event2019 International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2019 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: May 20 2019May 24 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
ISSN (Print)1050-4729


Conference2019 International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2019


  • Artificial muscles
  • Crawling Robot
  • McKibben muscles
  • Soft robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering


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