softrobot Crawling and Jumping Soft Robots

Heads: Shinichi Hirai
Contact: Yasuaki Matsumoto

Date: 2002 - 2009

Mailing address:
Dept. Robotics, Ritsumeikan Univ.
Kusatsu, Shiga 525-8577, Japan

Supported by:
NEDO 21st Century Robot Challenge Program

Associated lab/group:
Hirai Lab. (Dept. Textile Eng., Shinshu Univ.)

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Project Description

In this research, we will develop a robot capable of rough terrain locomotion by its rolling and jumping. A robot consisting of deformable soft body and flexible actuators can roll and jump on a ground by the deformation of its deformable body.
2017/10/20 Invited Presentation Soft Robotics for Locomotion and Manipulation in Special Session Soft Robotics at 17th Int. Conf. on Control, Automation and Systems (ICCAS 2017).
2010/5/26 Biomimetic Soft Morphing Workshop at Seoul National University
2008/12/6 Mr. Matsuyama received SICE 2007 SI Division Young Researcher Encouragement Award for his paper Mechanics of Jumping via Body Deformation.
2008/7/18 Demonstration Day for high school students.
2008/6/23 Visited EPFL and had two seminars.
How Softness Contributes to Human Dexterity organized by Professor Bleuler
Jumping via Deformation organized by Professor Floreano
2006/12/16 Mechanical Energy Analysis of Jumping by Body Deformation of Soft Circular Robot received SICE SI2006 Presentation Award.
2005/7/26-8/7 Demonstration on Crawling and Jumping Soft Robot KOHARO at the Robot Station, Expo 2005 Aichi Japan. (HP)
2005/6/9-19 Demonstration on Crawling and Jumping Soft Robot KOHARO at Prototype Robot Exhibition, Expo 2005 Aichi Japan. (photo diary) (demonstration)
2004/7/28 "Crawling and Jumping of a Deformable Robot" was introduced in Mainichi Shimbun 2004/7/28 "Science TODAT".
2004/7/4 Robotic wheels that just keep rolling in New Scientists.
2004/6/19 Yuuta Sugiyama was offered the IFRR Student Fellowship to present his article "Crawling and Jumping of a Deformable Robot" in ISER2004 at Singapore.
2004/6/17 "Crawling and Jumping of a Deformable Robot" was introduced in Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun 2004/6/17.
2004/6/3 Project "Crawling and Jumping by a Deformable Soft Robot" was accepted to the NEDO 21st Century Robot Challenge Program.

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Jumping of Spherical Soft Robot

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Hill-climbing of Spherical Soft Robot

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Rolling of Circular Soft Robot

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Hill-climbing of Circular Soft Robot


Name Title Degree
Yasuaki Matsumoto Graduated Master of Eng.
Masayuki Miyazaki Graduated Master of Eng.
Hisashi Nakanishi Graduated Master of Eng.
Yoshinari Matsuyama Graduated Master of Eng.
Ayumi Shiotsu Graduated Master of Eng.
Yuuta Sugiyama Graduated Master of Eng.


Book Chapters



Soft robot with built-in power source (mpg 8.5MB)

Jump from Cap shape (mpg 4.0MB)

Jump from Cup shape (mpg 3.5MB)

Jump from Peanut shape (mpg 3.6MB)

Jump from Dish shape (mpg 4.3MB)

Spherical soft robot jumping (mpg 7.3MB)

Spherical soft robot hill-climbing< (mpg 6.9MB)

Circular soft robot crawling (mpg 6.4MB)

Circular soft robot hill-climbing (mpg 2.4MB)

KOHARO EXPO MC demonstration (mpg 181MB)

Related Sites