Multigait soft robot

Robert F. Shepherd, Filip Ilievski, Wonjae Choi, Stephen A. Morin, Adam A. Stokes, Aaron D. Mazzeo, Xin Chen, Michael Wang, George M. Whitesides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1478 Scopus citations


This manuscript describes a unique class of locomotive robot: A soft robot, composed exclusively of soft materials (elastomeric polymers), which is inspired by animals (e.g., squid, starfish, worms) that do not have hard internal skeletons. Soft lithography was used to fabricate a pneumatically actuated robot capable of sophisticated locomotion (e.g., fluid movement of limbs and multiple gaits). This robot is quadrupedal; it uses no sensors, only five actuators, and a simple pneumatic valving system that operates at low pressures (<10 psi). A combination of crawling and undulation gaits allowed this robot to navigate a difficult obstacle. This demonstration illustrates an advantage of soft robotics: They are systems in which simple types of actuation produce complex motion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20400-20403
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 20 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


  • Biomimetic
  • Mobile


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