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Biomimetic vortex propulsion: toward the new paradigm of soft unmanned underwater vehicles

Biomimetic vortex propulsion: toward the new paradigm of soft unmanned underwater vehicles
Biomimetic vortex propulsion: toward the new paradigm of soft unmanned underwater vehicles
A soft robot is presented which replicates the ability of cephalopods to travel in the aquatic environment by means of pulsed jet propulsion. In this mode of propulsion, a discontinuous stream of fluid is ejected through a nozzle and rolls into a vortex ring. The occurrence of the vortex ring at the nozzle-exit plane has been proven to provide an additional thrust to the one generated by a continuous jet. A number of authors have experimented with vortex thrusting devices in the form of piston-cylinder chambers and oscillating diaphragms. Here, the focus is placed on designing a faithful biomimesis of the structural and functional characteristics of the Octopus vulgaris. To do so, the overall shape of this swimming robot is achieved by moulding a silicone cast of an actual octopus, hence offering a credible replica of both the exterior and interior of an octopus mantle chamber. The activation cycle relies on the cable-driven contraction/release of the elastic chamber, which drives the fluid through a siphon-like nozzle and eventually provides the suitable thrust for propelling the robot. The prototype presented herein demonstrates the fitness of vortex enhanced propulsion in designing soft unmanned underwater vehicles.
1083-4435
484-493
Giorgio-Serchi, Francesco
8571dc14-19c1-4ed1-8080-d380736a6ffa
Arienti, Andrea
64933f16-d247-42bc-a453-cbe474efa594
Laschi, Cecilia
302c8a64-0ba9-4d5c-9d6f-efcfd4acc64a
Giorgio-Serchi, Francesco
8571dc14-19c1-4ed1-8080-d380736a6ffa
Arienti, Andrea
64933f16-d247-42bc-a453-cbe474efa594
Laschi, Cecilia
302c8a64-0ba9-4d5c-9d6f-efcfd4acc64a

Giorgio-Serchi, Francesco, Arienti, Andrea and Laschi, Cecilia (2013) Biomimetic vortex propulsion: toward the new paradigm of soft unmanned underwater vehicles. IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, 18 (2), 484-493. (doi:10.1109/TMECH.2012.2220978).

Record type: Article

Abstract

A soft robot is presented which replicates the ability of cephalopods to travel in the aquatic environment by means of pulsed jet propulsion. In this mode of propulsion, a discontinuous stream of fluid is ejected through a nozzle and rolls into a vortex ring. The occurrence of the vortex ring at the nozzle-exit plane has been proven to provide an additional thrust to the one generated by a continuous jet. A number of authors have experimented with vortex thrusting devices in the form of piston-cylinder chambers and oscillating diaphragms. Here, the focus is placed on designing a faithful biomimesis of the structural and functional characteristics of the Octopus vulgaris. To do so, the overall shape of this swimming robot is achieved by moulding a silicone cast of an actual octopus, hence offering a credible replica of both the exterior and interior of an octopus mantle chamber. The activation cycle relies on the cable-driven contraction/release of the elastic chamber, which drives the fluid through a siphon-like nozzle and eventually provides the suitable thrust for propelling the robot. The prototype presented herein demonstrates the fitness of vortex enhanced propulsion in designing soft unmanned underwater vehicles.

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Accepted/In Press date: 11 September 2012
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 October 2012
Published date: April 2013
Organisations: Fluid Structure Interactions Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 395554
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/395554
ISSN: 1083-4435
PURE UUID: 6afc6eb6-0f54-4c1d-ba92-a9027e043366
ORCID for Francesco Giorgio-Serchi: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5090-9007

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Date deposited: 14 Jul 2016 15:16
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 03:34

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Contributors

Author: Francesco Giorgio-Serchi ORCID iD
Author: Andrea Arienti
Author: Cecilia Laschi

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