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A resonant squid-inspired robot unlocks biological propulsive efficiency

A resonant squid-inspired robot unlocks biological propulsive efficiency
A resonant squid-inspired robot unlocks biological propulsive efficiency
Elasticity has been linked to the remarkable propulsive efficiency of pulse-jet animals such as the squid and jellyfish, but reports that quantify the underlying dynamics or demonstrate its application in robotic systems are rare. This work identifies the pulse-jet propulsion mode used by these animals as a coupled mass-spring-mass oscillator, enabling the design of a flexible self-propelled robot. We use this system to experimentally demonstrate that resonance greatly benefits pulse-jet swimming speed and efficiency, and the robot’s optimal cost of transport is found to match that of the most efficient biological swimmers in nature, such as the jellyfish Aurelia aurita. The robot also exhibits a preferred Strouhal number for efficient swimming, thereby bridging the gap between pulse-jet propulsion and established findings in efficient fish swimming. Extensions of the current robotic framework to larger amplitude oscillations could combine resonance effects with optimal vortex formation to further increase propulsive performance and potentially outperform biological swimmers altogether.
2470-9476
Bujard, Thierry
045fee4e-d554-4d5e-840d-209f656a2c0f
Giorgio-Serchi, Francesco
8571dc14-19c1-4ed1-8080-d380736a6ffa
Weymouth, Gabriel
b0c85fda-dfed-44da-8cc4-9e0cc88e2ca0
Bujard, Thierry
045fee4e-d554-4d5e-840d-209f656a2c0f
Giorgio-Serchi, Francesco
8571dc14-19c1-4ed1-8080-d380736a6ffa
Weymouth, Gabriel
b0c85fda-dfed-44da-8cc4-9e0cc88e2ca0

Bujard, Thierry, Giorgio-Serchi, Francesco and Weymouth, Gabriel (2021) A resonant squid-inspired robot unlocks biological propulsive efficiency. Science Robotics, 6 (50). (doi:10.1126/scirobotics.abd2971).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Elasticity has been linked to the remarkable propulsive efficiency of pulse-jet animals such as the squid and jellyfish, but reports that quantify the underlying dynamics or demonstrate its application in robotic systems are rare. This work identifies the pulse-jet propulsion mode used by these animals as a coupled mass-spring-mass oscillator, enabling the design of a flexible self-propelled robot. We use this system to experimentally demonstrate that resonance greatly benefits pulse-jet swimming speed and efficiency, and the robot’s optimal cost of transport is found to match that of the most efficient biological swimmers in nature, such as the jellyfish Aurelia aurita. The robot also exhibits a preferred Strouhal number for efficient swimming, thereby bridging the gap between pulse-jet propulsion and established findings in efficient fish swimming. Extensions of the current robotic framework to larger amplitude oscillations could combine resonance effects with optimal vortex formation to further increase propulsive performance and potentially outperform biological swimmers altogether.

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Science_Robotics_2020 - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 23 December 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 20 January 2021
Published date: 20 January 2021

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 446581
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/446581
ISSN: 2470-9476
PURE UUID: 26c17e3c-b855-4ec6-aec3-d168081c831c
ORCID for Francesco Giorgio-Serchi: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5090-9007
ORCID for Gabriel Weymouth: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5080-5016

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 15 Feb 2021 17:32
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 17:21

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Contributors

Author: Thierry Bujard
Author: Francesco Giorgio-Serchi ORCID iD

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