bioloch bio mimetic structures for loc omotion in the h uman body http www ics forth gr bioloch
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BIOLOCH BIO -mimetic structures for LOC omotion in the H uman body Paolo Dario Project Coordinator. Neuro-IT Workshop Leuven, December 3, 2002. IST-2001- 34181 - BIOLOCH BIO-mimetic structures for LOComotion in the Human body.

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bioloch bio mimetic structures for loc omotion in the h uman body http www ics forth gr bioloch

BIOLOCH BIO-mimetic structures for LOComotion in the Human body

Paolo Dario

Project Coordinator

Neuro-IT Workshop

Leuven, December 3, 2002

ist 2001 34181 bioloch bio mimetic structures for locomotion in the human body
IST-2001-34181 - BIOLOCH BIO-mimetic structures for LOComotion in the Human body

List of Principal Investigators of BIOLOCH

Project Co-ordinator: Prof. Paolo Dario

Project Manager: Dr. Arianna Menciassi

Technical Team Co-ordinators

SSSA: Prof. Paolo Dario

UBAH Mech Eng : Prof. Julian Vincent

UniPi: Prof. Danilo De Rossi

FORTH : Dr. Dimitris Tsakiris

UoT : Prof. Marc Schurr

  • Starting date: May 1, 2002
  • End date: April 30, 2005
  • Project Duration: 36 months
  • Funding:
    • Total costs: €1.654.570
    • Community Funding: €1.503.900
  • Partners:
    • Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA) - Pisa (I) – Co-ordinator
    • University of Bath, Department of Mechanical Engineering (UBAH Mech Eng) – United Kingdom
    • Centro "E. Piaggio", Faculty of Engineering, University of Pisa (UniPi) - Italy
    • FORTH - Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH) - Greece
    • University of Tuebingen, Section for minimally invasive surgery (UoT) - Germany

Project Coordinator: Prof. Paolo Dario

CRIM Lab - Scuola Superiore S. AnnaPiazza Martiri della Libertà, 33

56127 PISA (ITALY)

Tel. +39-050-883400 / +39-050-883401Fax. +39-050-883402e-mail: [email protected] site:

what is the objective of the project
WHAT is the OBJECTIVE of the project
  • Objective
  • To understand motion and perception systems of lower animal forms
  • 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 objectives

Locomotion models


Setae friction

Adhesion models


Enabling Technologies






HOW we plan to ADDRESS the objectives
Taxonomy of locomotion mechanisms

and their classification according to engineering principles (1/3)

Adhesion by:suction, friction, biological glue, van der Waals force

Taxonomy of locomotion mechanisms

and their classification according to engineering principles (2/3)



Locomotion by:paddle-worm, pedal, earthworm/peristaltic, serpentine, rectilinear-serpentine

Taxonomy of locomotion mechanisms

and their classification according to engineering principles (3/3)

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 surface.

Force / Step ratio, „grasping leg“, muscular attachment

Force pattern overview

Medical specifications

Description of force parameters of the colonic tract in interaction with endoscopic devices and techniques

  • Mesenteric hazards:
  • Tears
  • Ruptures
  • Parameters for
  • walking inside the colon
  • Forces
  • Wall elasiticity

Force / step ratio

Mesenteric resistance

Device advancement forces

Colonic wall resistance

  • Parameters for
  • creeping inside
  • the colon
  • With tail
  • Without tail
  • Colonic hazards
  • Perforation
Cylinder of polimeric material (Nylon)

Aluminium hooks are used to create a special wax mould to fill with Epotex (epoxy bicomponent resin).

When sliding part moves upward: a vacuum is generated (sucker can work); the membrane is stretched (hooks can grasp the tissue)

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

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.

Trajectory of a generic point on the surface of the Earthworm expressed as % of the length

Small radial displacements (<0.5%) corresponds to long axial displacements (>5%), which is optimal for locomotion

Model and simulation of the inchworm/peristaltic locomotion mechanism

Enabling technologies: an outline on smart actuators

Swimming and cilia roboticion-polymer metal composites (IPMC) structures

Smart actuators for active membranes

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

Shape memory pol.

Active membrane

Enabling technologies: sensing and control


3 axis force microsensor

1 mm

Section of sensor 3D model

Preliminary technological implementations

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

Artificial paddle-worm

IPMC actuator for hook protruding

Inchworm locomotion with “biological” glue

what would be the impact of the project
WHAT would be the IMPACT of the project

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 - UltimateMicroendoscopy(EoI – IP)

The objective of the project is to incorporate in microendoscopes technologies and tools which would allow a revolution rather that an evolution of current endoscopes and therapeutic procedures… Decreasing the size of endoscopic devices down to 1-2 millimeter (in diameter) by keeping the same functionalities of traditional tools involves a dramatic effort in terms of design capabilities, fabrication technologies, and integration techniques. This approach requires a strong activity which involves basic and applied research with no incremental but totally innovative features:

the wireless “super”pill and the wired brain m-endoscope

Proposed VISIONARY ACTIONS for a future FET program in the 6FP

Collaborative ensemble of micro-burrowers (proposal for visionary actions starting from the BIOLOCH Project?)

Autonomous micro-burrowers, able to operate in a collaborative manner in the pursuit of a common goal underground.

Such a group of micro-burrowers could be valuable in the context of search and rescue (S&R) operations for people trapped in buildings, mines, etc., which may have collapsed as a result of earthquakes, attacks, etc. These sensor-carrying robots could be sent to explore this underground, unstructured environment, possibly having to dig through rubble, in order to gain access to victims, structures or equipment. The solutions that biological organisms (e.g. ants, bees) have developed for communication, coordination, cooperative localization and planning, could provide valuable insights in such an endeavor.