Millipede-inspired locomotion through novel U-shaped piezoelectric motors

Dragan Avirovik, Bryan Butenhoff, Shashank Priya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We report a novel piezoelectric motor that operates at a resonance frequency of 144 Hz, much lower than that of conventional ultrasonic motors, and meets the displacement and gait requirements for designing the locomotion mechanism of a millipede-inspired robot (millibot). The motor structure consists of two piezoelectric bimorphs arranged in a U-shaped configuration. Using the first bending mode for both the piezoelectric bimorphs an elliptical motion was obtained at the tip which led to the successful implementation of millipede inspired locomotion. At an input voltage of 70.7 Vrms, the piezoelectric motor operating at resonance frequency was able to generate torque of 0.03 mN m, mechanical power of 0.84 mW and maximum velocity of 62 rad s-1. Detailed discussion is provided about the principle of operation of the millibot.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number037001
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • actuator
  • bioinspiration
  • millibot
  • millipede
  • piezoelectric


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