Optimization of Snake-like Robot Locomotion Using GA: Serpenoid Design

  • Tomáš Hůlka
  • Radomil Matoušek
  • Ladislav Dobrovský
  • Monika Dosoudilová
  • Lars Nolle
Keywords: Snake-like robot, serpenoid curve, genetic algorithm, physical simulation, PhysX


This work investigates the locomotion efficiency of snake-like robots through evolutionary optimization using the simulation framework PhysX (NVIDIA). The Genetic Algorithm (GA) is used to find the optimal forward head serpentine gait parameters, and the snake speed is taken into consideration in the optimization. A fitness function covering robot speed is based on a complex physics simulation in PhysX. A general serpenoid form is applied to each joint. Optimal gait parameters are calculated for a virtual model in a simulation environment. The fitness function evaluation uses the Simulation In the Loop (SIL) technique, where the virtual model is an approximation of a real snake-like robot. Experiments were performed using an 8-link snake robot with a given mass and a different body friction. The aim of the optimization was speed and length of the trace.


Billah, M. M., and Khan, M. R. Bio-inspired snake robot locomotion: A cpg-based control approach. In 2015 5th National Symposium on Information Technology: Towards New Smart World (NSITNSW) (2015), pp. 1-6.

Bujok, P., Tvrdik, J., and Polakova, R. Nature-inspired algorithms in real-world optimization problems. Mendel 23 (2017), 7-14.

Chirikjian, G. S., and Burdick, J. W. An obstacle avoidance algorithm for hyper-redundant manipulators. In Proceedings., IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (1990), vol. 1, pp. 625-631.

Chirikjian, G. S., and Burdick, J. W. The kinematics of hyper-redundant robot locomotion. IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation 11, 6 (1995), 781-793.

Hannigan, E., Song, B., Khandate, G., Haas-Heger, M., Yin, J., and Ciocarlie, M. Automatic snake gait generation using model predictive control, 2019.

Hasanzadeh, S., and Tootoonchi, A. A. Adaptive optimal locomotion of snake robot based on cpg-network using fuzzy logic tuner. In 2008 IEEE Conference on Robotics, Automation and Mechatronics (2008), pp. 187-192.

Hirose, S., Cave, P., and Goulden, C. Biologically Inspired Robots: Snake-like Locomotors and Manipulators. Oxford science publications. Oxford University Press, 1993.

Hirose, S., and Yamada, H. Snake-like robots [tutorial]. IEEE Robotics Automation Magazine 16, 1 (2009), 88-98.

Hrdina, J., , Navrat, A., Vasik, P., and Matousek, R. Local control of (4,5,7,8-10)-filtration snake robot via cga. Mendel 23 (2017), 157-162.

Hrdina, J., Navrat, A., Vasik, P., and Matousek, R. Cga-based robotic snake control. Adv. Appl. Clifford Algebras 27 (2017), 621-632.

Hrdina, J., Navrat, A., Vasik, P., and Matousek, R. Geometric control of the trident snake robot based on cga. Adv. Appl. Clifford Algebras 27 (2017), 633-645.

Jinguo Liu, Yuechao Wang, Bin Ii, and Ma, S. Path planning of a snake-like robot based on serpenoid curve and genetic algorithms. In Fifth World Congress on Intelligent Control and Automation (IEEE Cat. No.04EX788) (2004), vol. 6, pp. 4860-4864.

Kalani, H., and Akbarzadeh, A. Parameter optimization of a snake robot using taguchi method. In Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, ICMAE2011 (1 2012), vol. 110 of Applied Mechanics and Materials, Trans Tech Publications Ltd, pp. 4220-4226.

Liljeback, P., Pettersen, K., Stavdahl, Ø.,and Gravdahl, J.Snake Robots: Modelling,Mechatronics, and Control. Advances in Industrial Control. Springer London, 2012.

Liljeback, P., Pettersen, K., Stavdahl, Ø ,and Gravdahl, J.A review on modelling, implementation, and control of snake robots. Robotics and Autonomous Systems 60, 1 (2012), 29 – 40.

Lim, J., Yang, W., Shen, Y., and Yi, J. Analysis and validation of serpentine locomotion dynamics of a wheeled snake robot moving on varied sloped environments. In 2020 IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM) (2020), pp. 1069-1074.

Matousek, R., and Navrat, A. Trident snake control based on cga. Mendel 2015, Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing 378 (2015), 375-385.

Ostrowski, J., and Burdick, J. Gait kinematics for a serpentine robot. In Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (1996), vol. 2, pp. 1294-1299.

Ouyang, W., Liang, W., Li, C., Zheng, H., Ren, Q., and Li, P. Steering motion control of a snake robot via a biomimetic approach. Frontiers of Information Technology Electronic Engineering 20 (2019), 32-44.

Prautsch, P., Mita, T., and Iwasaki, T. Analysis and control of a gait of snake robot. IEEJ Transactions on Industry Applications 120, 3 (2000), 372-381.

Saito, M., Fukaya, M., and Iwasaki, T. Modeling, analysis, and synthesis of serpentine locomotion with a multilink robotic snake. IEEE Control Systems Magazine 22, 1 (2002), 64-81.

Sekaj, I., Cifersky, L., and Hvozdik, M. Neuro-evolution of mobile robot controller. Mendel 25 (2019), 39-42.

Transeth, A. A., Leine, R. I., Glocker, C., Pettersen, K. Y., and LiljebAck, P. Snake robot obstacle-aided locomotion: Modeling, simulations, and experiments. IEEE Transactions on Robotics 24, 1 (2008), 88-104.

Wen, P., Linsen, X., Baolin, F., and Zhong, W. Cpg control model of snake-like robot parameters of optimization based on ga. In 2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO) (2015), pp. 1944-1949.

How to Cite
Hůlka, T., Matoušek, R., Dobrovský, L., Dosoudilová, M. and Nolle, L. 2020. Optimization of Snake-like Robot Locomotion Using GA: Serpenoid Design. MENDEL. 26, 1 (Aug. 2020), 1-6. DOI:https://doi.org/10.13164/mendel.2020.1.001.
Research articles