Design and motion testing of a Multiple SMA fins driven BIUV
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Fishes interact with the fluid environment using various surfaces. These multiple control surfaces work in combination to produce thrust and balance torques in steady swimming, to maneuver and to position themselves accurately even in turbulent flows. These motivated us to embark on a research program designed to develop an agile biologically inspired robotic fish based on the performance of multiple fins. To accomplish this goal, a mechanical ray-like fin actuated by Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) is developed, which can realize oscillating motion, undulating motion or even complex three dimensional motion. The basic unit is the two opposite side equipped SMA-driven plate, namely fin ray. As a result, a lightweight bio-inspired fin is constructed by placing radially multiple SMA fin rays. A biologically inspired underwater vehicle (BIUV) is later built using multiple above lightweight bio-inspired fins. Two common arrangement styles of multiple fins on the BIUV are considered here: one is the posterior fin (implement oscillating motion) that paralleled to the anterior fins (implement undulating motion); another one is the posterior fin that perpendicular to the anterior fins. The kinematic modeling, deformation modeling and detecting of the SMA fin were built. The thrust generation was also established. Finally, an experiment was conducted to test the performance of the proposed two arrangement styles, including the comparison of averaged propulsion velocity and averaged thrust under certain kinematic parameters. Meanwhile, the influence of frequency and amplitude of SMA fin ray on propulsion performance was also investigated.
Key wordsoscillating undulating Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) Biologically Inspired Underwater Vehicle (BIUV) fin ray
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The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the Scientific and Research Funds of the Department of Education of Zhejiang Province through grant #Y201329346. We also thank Prof. Zhang Shiwu and Dr. Jia Laibing for their valuable suggestions and comments.
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