Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Unmanned and Autonomous Systems Engineering

Department

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Committee Chair

Christopher Hockley

First Committee Member

Brian Butka

Second Committee Member

Monica Garcia

Abstract

Soft robotics, a form of robotics that incorporates nonrigid components, continues to grow in scope, system design, and application. A recent addition to this field is the Vine Robot platform, a bio-inspired robot designed by Stanford University in 2017. Its method of movement, known as eversion, closely resembles the way that a vine grows along a tree, giving it its name. The focus of this research was to take its proven abilities of underwater vine-like movement and soil fluidization, a process where granular materials are converted from a solid-like state to a fluid-like state, to create an underwater eversion robot capable of burrowing into sand. This was done with the goal of providing a future platform for research into soil composition studies, underwater movement using multiple eversion and fluidization tubes, and other ventures. The unique ability of this platform is extending its reach far beyond that of comparable sized systems. Specific focus was given to the measured abilities of eversion into granular substances using a combination of air and water eversion material, with the former given preference due to its accessibility in underwater environments. The resulting testing showed the capability of using the water as a fluidization material, especially in underwater environments.

Share

COinS