Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Phanindra Tallapragada

Committee Member

Dr. Joshua Bostwick

Committee Member

Dr. Ardalan Vahidi


Soft vibrational robots are robots that incorporate compliant structures into their design and are driven by oscillating actuators. A recent, popular version of a soft vibrational robot is the bristle bot, which uses flexible bristles and a vibration motor to propel itself across surfaces and through pipes. This motion is primarily driven by stick-slip dynamics resulting from asymmetric frictional forces applied at the bristle tips. Depending on the frequency of vibration of the motor, the robot experiences various resonance regions allowing it to maneuver in different directions. Attaching bristles to all sides of the robot and placing it in a pipe, these resonance regions give the potential for such a robot to navigate a pipe system. While several papers cover the robotics side of this research interest and others the analytical side of a single bristle bot on a flat surface, the dynamics of a bristle bot in a pipe and its ability to steer through pipe bifurcations has little been explored. This thesis aims to cover the process of modeling the nonlinear, stick-slip dynamics of the bristle bot in a pipe and how to use the resonance regions of the system to reliably steer the robot through a pipe system.



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