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Inchworm

Bugs | Projects

  • Our purpose for this project was to construct a machine that would replicate the movement of a bug. Our solution was to create a kinetic system that would emulate the momentment of an inchworm through a mechanical structure involving 5 major moving modules. We learned that bugs are the most efficient species, and we had to pick a bug to replicate. We decided to go with an inchworm, because we found the way it moved interesting, and different then most other bugs.

    Since insects are such an efficient part of our natural world, we can use their mechanisms of movement to further our technological world.Our project is based on the movement of an inchworm. It is broken up into segments and the a string runs through each segment. When the green button is pushed, a motor reels in the string, pulling it taut and pulling the segments of the body up into an arc. When the red button is pushed, the string unwinds and the body relaxes to start the process over again.When we first started, we wanted to use some kind of rubber to make the body, and a magnetic system to contract the body. After testing different things out, we decided upon a stronger material for the body and a more realistic mechanism.We struggled with the shape of the body segments. We needed something that would move freely, but be supportive enough to hold itself up.

    Our first iteration was made up of cylinders. They were attached by screws to allow for movement. The problem was that it rolled and slid around instead of staying steady on the ground.For our next version, we made the two end pieces into prisms so that they had a flat side to lay on the ground. The flat side kept it stable, and we would add legs onto the bottom for extra support. The problem with this model was that the cylinders in the middle were not supported and would droop down to the ground.In our next model, we made each segment of the body a prism. We lengthened the arms that connected the segments and added curves into the side of each prism to guide the movement and add support.