[2017-Vol.14-Issue 2]Toward Fast and Efficient Mobility in Aquatic Environment: A Robot with Compliant Swimming Appendages Inspired by a Water Beetle
Time: 2017-04-26 11:12  Click:534

Volume 14, Issue 2, April 2017, Pages 260–271

  • Department of Mechanical Engineering, UNIST, Ulsan, Korea
  • Abstract

    Water beetles are proficient drag-powered swimmers, with oar-like legs. Inspired by this mechanism, here we propose a miniature robot, with mobility provided by a pair of legs with swimming appendages. The robot has optimized linkage structure to maximize the stroke angle, which is actuated by a single DC motor with a series of gears and a spring. A simplified swimming appendage model is proposed to calculate the deflection due to the applied drag force, and is compared with simulated data using COMSOL Multiphysics. Also, the swimming appendages are optimized by considering their locations on the legs using two fitness functions, and six different configurations are selected. We investigate the performance of the robot with various types of appendage using a high-speed camera, and motion capture cameras. The robot with the proposed configuration exhibits fast and efficient movement compared with other robots. In addition, the locomotion of the robot is analyzed by considering its dynamics, and compared with that of a water boatman (Corixidae).


    • mobility
    • compliant appendage
    • drag-powered swimming
    • miniature robot
    • water beetle
    • Full text is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1672652917300070
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