Continuum Robotic Caterpillar with Wirelessly Powered Shape Memory Alloy Actuators

Colm McCaffrey, Takuya Umedachi (Corresponding Author), Weiwei Jiang, Takuya Sasatani, Yoshiaki Narusue, Ryuma Niiyama, Yoshihiro Kawahara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)700-710
Number of pages11
JournalSoft Robotics
Issue number6
Early online date30 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • wireless power transfer (WPT)
  • soft-bodied robotics
  • autonomous mobile robot
  • shape memory alloy (SMA) coil

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