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					               Neuro-IT Workshop
            Leuven, December 3, 2002

BIO-mimetic structures for LOComotion in the Human body

                     Paolo Dario
                  Project Coordinator
                    IST-2001-34181 - BIOLOCH
                   BIO-mimetic structures for LOComotion
                           in the Human body
                                                                   List of Principal Investigators of BIOLOCH
Starting date: May 1, 2002
                                                                   Project Co-ordinator: Prof. Paolo Dario
End date: April 30, 2005                                           Project Manager:      Dr. Arianna Menciassi
Project Duration: 36 months
Funding:                                                           Technical Team Co-ordinators
                                                                   SSSA:                  Prof. Paolo Dario
   Total costs: € 1.654.570                                       UBAH Mech Eng :        Prof. Julian Vincent
   Community Funding: € 1.503.900                                 UniPi:                 Prof. Danilo De Rossi
                                                                   FORTH :                Dr. Dimitris Tsakiris
                                                                   UoT :                  Prof. Marc Schurr
   Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA) - Pisa
    (I) – Co-ordinator
   University of Bath, Department of                                Project Coordinator: Prof. Paolo Dario
    Mechanical Engineering (UBAH Mech Eng) –
    United Kingdom                                                   CRIM Lab - Scuola Superiore S. Anna
   Centro "E. Piaggio", Faculty of Engineering,                     Piazza Martiri della Libertà, 33
    University of Pisa (UniPi) - Italy
   FORTH - Foundation for Research and                              56127 PISA (ITALY)
    Technology – Hellas (FORTH) - Greece                             Tel. +39-050-883400 / +39-050-883401
   University of Tuebingen, Section for                             Fax. +39-050-883402
    minimally invasive surgery (UoT) - Germany
                                                                     web site:

            Project funded by the Future and Emerging Technologies arm of the IST Programme
            Thematic Priorities: IST-2001-VI.2.3
              WHAT is the OBJECTIVE of the project

• To     understand   motion     and
  perception systems of lower animal
• To design and fabricate mini- and
  micro-machines inspired by such
  biological systems.

Long term goal
A new generation of autonomous smart
   machines with:
• life-like interaction with the environment
• performance comparable to the animals
   by which they are inspired.

Envisaged application(s)
  The    "inspection"      problem in
  medicine ( microendoscopy); and…
  “Rescue” micro-robotics;
  Underground (space?) exploration
          HOW we plan to ADDRESS the

Locomotion models Nereis                Earthworm

Adhesion models                         Setae


Applications   Endoscopy Underground           Rescue
         Taxonomy of locomotion mechanisms
         and their classification according to
         engineering principles (1/3)
Adhesion by: suction, friction, biological glue, van der Waals force

                      Force    Ease of       Type of    Stability
                               replication    surface
    Suction            2          5          Smooth        2
    Friction           3          5          Rough         4
    Biological Glue    1          2           Both         1
    Van der Waals      5          1          Smooth        3
        Taxonomy of locomotion mechanisms
        and their classification according to
        engineering principles (2/3)
Locomotion by: paddle-worm, pedal, earthworm/peristaltic,
              serpentine, rectilinear-serpentine

                                   scale         muscles
        Taxonomy of locomotion mechanisms
        and their classification according to
        engineering principles (3/3)
                        Energy                                          Ease of artificial
                     consumption     Contact surface        Stability   replication and

Pedal                     1            Rough, wet              5                5

Peristlatic               1            Rough, wet              5                4

Contract-anchor-          1            Rough, wet              5                4
Serpentine                4               Rough                5                2

Rectilinear               3                 Flat               5                2

Concertina                3        Not enough frictional       5                2

Sidewinding               4        Not rigid (sandy soil)      5                1

Polypedal (4 legs)        5                 All                3                1

Polypedal (6 legs)        2                 All                4                2
Earthworm: an example of biological
perception-reaction mechanism
        The nervous system of the earthworm is "segmented"
       just like the rest of the body
        the "brain" is located above the pharynx and is
       connected to the first ventral ganglion
        the brain is important for movement:
              if the brain of the earthworm is removed, the
             earthworm will move continuously;
              if the first ventral ganglion is removed, the
             earthworm will stop eating and will not dig.

                           Each segmented ganglion gets
                           sensory information from only a
                           local region of its body and
                           controls muscles only in this local
                           region. Earthworms have touch,
                           light, vibration and chemical
                           receptors all along the entire body
                                      Medical specifications
                     Description of force parameters of the colonic tract in
                     interaction with endoscopic devices and techniques

                          Mesenteric hazards:             Parameters for
                          • Tears                         walking inside the colon
                          • Ruptures                      • Forces
                                                          • Wall elasiticity
                            Force / Step ratio, „grasping leg“, muscular attachment



                            1,2                                                         Force / step ratio
Mesenteric resistance        1
                                                                             1 cm
                                                                             1.5 cm
                                                                                        Device advancement
                                      Force pattern overview
                            0,8                                              2 cm

Colonic wall resistance     0,6
                                                                             2.5 cm


                                  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9    10

                                                                      Parameters for
                          Colonic                                     creeping inside
                          hazards                                     the colon
                          • Perforation                               • With tail
                                                                      • Without tail
            Design and fabrication of bio-inspired
            adhesion mechanisms

                                                                        Friction is enhanced when
                                                                          the compliant tips are
                                                                              pushed outward

                        (a) normal configuration; (b) flow in; (c) flow out

                                       Cylinder of

                                                                              Aluminium hooks are used
                                                                              to create a special wax
When sliding part moves upward:                                               mould to fill with Epotex
a vacuum is generated (sucker can                                             (epoxy bicomponent resin).
work); the membrane is stretched
(hooks can grasp the tissue)
          Model and simulation of the polychaete
          locomotion mechanism
The polychaete (paddle-worm) can move in
water or mud environments thanks to a
sinusoidal motion joined with a passive
motion of lateral paddles. The motion
waves are perpendicular to the locomotion
direction. The friction between the surface
and the paddles is a parameter which can
be adjusted.
            Model and simulation of the
            inchworm/peristaltic locomotion mechanism

                                                Trajectory of a generic point on the surface
       2                        r0 x        of the Earthworm expressed as % of the
     x x ,t   r0 x  r x ,t 
r  1 
                                               length
 x ,t
                                1
                                      x x ,t   Small radial displacements (<0.5%)
                                                corresponds to long axial displacements
                                                (>5%), which is optimal for locomotion
Enabling technologies: design paradigm
         Enabling technologies: an outline on
         smart actuators
             Swimming and cilia robotic
                     ion-polymer metal
           composites (IPMC) structures

                                            Smart actuators
                                              for active

Active membrane
                                                    Shape memory gel submitted
                                                     to coiled between 50°C and
                                                          room temperature

                        Shape memory pol.
                  Enabling technologies: sensing and

                      ATTACHMENT       yes



       F igure B4.1 – P erception – reaction loo p

                                                                     3 axis force
                              Section of sensor               1 mm
                              3D model
      Preliminary technological implementations

                                    Friction-based minirobot: two counter
                                    motors, an eccentric mass,
       Artificial paddle-worm
                                    asymmetrical skates

                                        IPMC actuator for
                                        hook protruding

Inchworm locomotion with “biological” glue
        WHAT would be the IMPACT of the

The main expected results of BIOLOCH are new
design paradigms and engineering models for an
entirely new generation of biomimetic mini- and
micro-machines able to navigate in tortuous and
“soft” environments in a life-like manner.

To exploit a sophisticated biomimetic hardware
structure (incorporating complex mechanisms,
sensors, actuators and embedded signal processing)
to explore advanced biomimetic control strategies.
            Proposed VISIONARY ACTIONS for a
               future FET program in the 6FP
  ULTER-ENDO - Ultimate Microendoscopy (EoI – IP)
Collaborative ensemble of micro-burrowers (proposal for
  The objective of the project is to incorporate
visionary actions starting from the BIOLOCH Project?) in
  microendoscopes technologies and tools which would allow a
Autonomous micro-burrowers, able to operate in a collaborative
  revolution rather that a evolution of current endoscopes and
manner in the pursuit ofan common goal underground.
  therapeutic of micro-burrowers could be valuable in the context
Such a group procedures… Decreasing the size of endoscopic
    search and rescue (S&R) operations for by keeping the
ofdevices down to 1-2 millimeter (in diameter) people trapped in
  same functionalities which may tools collapsed as a result of
buildings, mines, etc.,of traditional have involves a dramatic effort
  in terms of attacks, etc. These sensor-carrying robots and
earthquakes, design capabilities, fabrication technologies,could be
  integration techniques. This approach requires a environment,
sent to explore this underground, unstructuredstrong activity
  which having basic through rubble, in order no incremental
possiblyinvolves to dig and applied research withto gain access to
  but totally innovative features:
victims, structures or equipment. The solutions that biological
organisms (e.g. ants, bees) have developed for communication,
        the wireless “super”pill and the wired brain m-endoscope
coordination, cooperative localization and planning, could
provide valuable insights in such an endeavor.

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