Multi-arm robotic swimming with octopus-inspired compliant web

Michael Sfakiotakis, Asimina Kazakidi, Avgousta Chatzidaki, Theodoros Evdaimon, Dimitris P. Tsakiris

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an 8-arm compliant robot, able to propel itself underwater by movements of its arms, either alone or interconnected via a passively-compliant web. The robot is inspired by the morphology and outstanding locomotor capabilities of the octopus, and is fabricated primarily from compliant materials. This robotic swimmer is first investigated computationally via dynamical models capturing the arm and web compliance, and indicating the effect of various kinematic parameters of the system on its motion. The performance of the robotic prototype is, then, tested experimentally, to demonstrate this novel mode of underwater propulsion by combining various patterns of sculling movements of the arms and web. Speeds of 0.5 body lengths per second and propulsive forces of up to 10.5 N were achieved, with a cost of transport as low as 0.62.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2014
Event2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2014 - Chicago, United States
Duration: 14 Sept 201418 Sept 2014


Conference2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • biologically-inspired robots
  • octopus
  • soft robots
  • underwater robots


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