Amphibious Robots

Alexander Boxerbaum/ Matthew Kline

Research Synopsis

The capability of robotic platforms to transition between locomotion modes in aquatic and terrestrial settings has yet to be achieved in robotics today. The study of animal locomotion mechanisms, cockroaches in particular, can provide specific inspiration to address these demands.  Our research team is currently involved in on-going efforts to create an autonomous, highly mobile amphibious robot.  A water-resistant amphibious prototype design, based on abstracted cockroach locomotion principals centered on joint compliance (originally developed in the laboratory of Professor Roger Quinn at Case Western Reserve University), has been completed. Through extensive field-testing, mechanisms have been isolated to allow for both underwater and terrestrial locomotion. Complementary work is presently underway for fully autonomous functionality.




Professor Roger Quinn, Director, Biologically Inspired Robotics Laboratory, Case Western Reserve University, USA

Professor Richard Harkins, Senior Lecturer, Physics, Naval Postgraduate School, USA

Professor Stuart Burgess, Professor of Engineering Design, University of Bristol, UK


Temesek Defense Systems Institute (TDSI),  Ministry of Defense, Singapore

US Naval Postgraduate School, US Navy, USA



Video summarizing background research, simulation, and construction if insect-inspied amphibious robot