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Biomimetic Ratcheting Motion of a Soft, Slender, Sessile Gel
L. Mahadevan, S. Daniel and M. K. Chaudhury
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 101, No. 1 (Jan. 6, 2004), pp. 23-26
Published by: National Academy of Sciences
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3148366
Page Count: 4
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
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Inspired by the locomotion of terrestrial limbless animals, we study the motion of a lubricated rod of a hydrogel on a soft substrate. We show that it is possible to mimic observed biological gaits by vibrating the substrate and by using a variety of mechanisms to break longitudinal and lateral symmetry. Our simple theory and experiments provide a unified view of the creeping, undulating, and inchworming gaits observed in limbless locomotion on land, all of which originate as symmetry-breaking bifurcations of a simple base state associated with periodic longitudinal oscillations of a slender gel. These ideas are therefore also applicable to technological situations that involve moving small, soft solids on substrates.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America © 2004 National Academy of Sciences