A novel wave-like crawling robot has excellent swimming capabilities

Omer Guetta, Dan Shachaf, Rotem Katz, David Zarrouk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Multiple animals ranging from micro-meter scale bacteria to meter scale vertebrates rely on undulatory motion to propel themselves on land and in the water. This type of locomotion also appears in amphibious animals such as sea snakes and salamanders. While undulatory motion can be used for both crawling and swimming, it requires the coordination of multiple joints so that only a few robots have the ability to mimic this motion. Here, we report a new minimalistic method for both crawling and swimming based on producing a wave motion in the sagittal (vertical) plane. A robotic prototype AmphiSAW was developed to demonstrate this methodology in a variety of scenarios. AmphiSAW (using its wave mechanism only) crawled at 1.5 B s−1 and swam at 0.74 B s−1. The robot can be fitted with legs or wheels at the front, which can further increase its performance especially when crawling on uneven terrains. In addition to its high speeds, the robot has the lowest cost of transport among all amphibious robots reported in literature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number026006
JournalBioinspiration and Biomimetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • amphibious robot
  • robot design
  • wave mechanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology


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