Soft Crawling Robots : Design, Actuation, and Locomotion

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Shoue Chen
  • Yunteng Cao
  • Morteza Sarparast
  • Hongyan Yuan
  • Xiaobo Tan
  • Changyong Cao

Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Article number1900837
Journal / PublicationAdvanced Materials Technologies
Issue number2
Online published3 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


Soft crawling robots have attracted great attention due to their anticipated effective interactions with humans and uncertain environments, as well as their potential capabilities of completing a variety of tasks encompassing search and rescue, infrastructure inspection, surveillance, drug delivery, and human assistance. Herein, a comprehensive survey on recent advances of soft crawling robots categorized by their major actuation mechanisms is provided, including pneumatic/hydraulic pressure, chemical reaction, and soft active material-based actuations, which include dielectric elastomers, shape memory alloys, magnetoactive elastomers, liquid crystalline elastomers, piezoelectric materials, ionic polymer–metal composites, and twisted and coiled polymers. For each type of actuation, the prevalent modes of locomotion adopted in representative robots, the design, working principle and performance of their soft actuators, and the performance of each locomotion approach, as well as the advantages and drawbacks of each design are discussed. This review summarizes the state-of-the-art progresses and the critical knowledge in designing soft crawling robots and offers a guidance and insightful outlook for the future development of soft robots.

Research Area(s)

  • locomotion, soft active materials, soft actuators, soft crawling robots, soft robotics

Citation Format(s)

Soft Crawling Robots : Design, Actuation, and Locomotion. / Chen, Shoue; Cao, Yunteng; Sarparast, Morteza et al.

In: Advanced Materials Technologies, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1900837, 02.2020.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review