Picture of ShakerBot: A Snakeboard Robot
When you think of robot locomotion, what is the first thing that comes to mind? A biped? a wheeled mobile robot? A differential drive system?  I honestly believe that there are many more interesting biologically inspired locomotion mechanisms out there that just need to be implemented.

For example, I think snakes use a very cool locomotion mechanism. They can move forward, sideways, turn and climb up a pipe with no legs or wheels! Now imagine if the snake locomotion is to be implemented on a wheeled robot, you will have something similar to the Roller racers from the 80's (remember those?).

In the late 80's snakeboards emerged, they are a good example of a nonholonomic system that uses the change in the geometry in order to propel  in different directions. More information on the mechanism and operation of a snakeboard can be found on wikipedia and in this cool Youtube link.

As part of a research done at the American University of Beirut we decided to build a robot that is inspired by the motion of the Snakeboard. This is how ShakerBot was born. This robot will be used in the future to study different locomotion algorithms.

The following video shows the ShakerBot moving while being teleoperated wirelessly. The original 3D model of the ShakerBot is displayed as well.

In order to read about the theory behind the locomotion of the ShakerBot move to step 8. However if you want to see how the ShakerBot was designed and made move along in the steps.

The system is  easy to build, follow the steps and you may get the weirdest moving robot ever!

For more info about our ShakerBot checkout this link.

unigamer2 years ago
That's really cool and well documented! :) I did my 4th year dissertation on snakeboarding. My original plan was to build a robot but time and money constraints meant I was advised to keep it purely simulation based.


I built a little controller to interface with the simulation, it would be very interesting to try controlling your robot with it.

I can't believe it's taken me this long to find this robot... possibly it's because you released this just after I had finished my dissertation and I was all snakeboarded out!