Wireless power transfer (WPT) has the significant potential for soft-bodied continuum robots to extend the operational time limitlessly and reduce weight. However, rigid power receiver coils, widely used in WPT, hinder the continuum deformation of the robot, and as a result, the function realization using the continuum deformation (e.g., locomotion) is impaired. Therefore, this article introduces that a soft-bodied continuum robot can be designed by using thin film receiver coils and an inductively coupled wireless powering solution without sacrificing the continuum deformation and locomotion ability. A system is described for powering and controlling a soft robotic caterpillar consisting of nothing more than its continuum structure, actuators, and thin/flexible power receiving coils.
- wireless power transfer (WPT)
- soft-bodied robotics
- autonomous mobile robot
- shape memory alloy (SMA) coil