Vision-based 3D motion reconstruction of octopus arm swimming and comparison with an 8-arm underwater robot

Asimina Kazakidi, Xenophon Zabulis, Dimitris P. Tsakiris

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The octopus uses the arm-swimming behavior primarily for escape, defense, or foraging. This mode of locomotion is comprised of two strokes, with the arms opening slowly and closing rapidly, and generally results in considerable propulsive acceleration. In light of the recent development by our group of an octopus-like eight-arm underwater robot, we are interested to analyze the details of the biological arm swimming motion, in order to understand its kinematics. In this paper, we address methodological aspects of the 3D reconstruction process of octopus arm trajectories, based on computer vision, and present the resulting arm swimming movement of a benthic common octopus. The 3D trajectories of all eight octopus arms were tracked and analyzed, providing information about speed, acceleration and arm elongation. The animal's performance is then used for a direct comparison with our 8-arm robotic swimmer. The data obtained provide new kinematic information about this, relatively unknown, propulsive mode, which can be exploited for multi-functional underwater robots.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2015
Event2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2015 - Seattle, United States
Duration: 26 May 201530 May 2015


Conference2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • biologically-inspired robots
  • computer vision
  • kinematics
  • octopus
  • soft robots
  • underwater robots

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