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Bioinspired Propulsion Mechanisms Based on Manta Ray Locomotion

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Abstract

Mobuliform swimmers are inspiring novel approaches to the design of underwater vehicles. These swimmers, exemplified by manta rays, present a model for new classes of efficient, highly maneuverable, autonomous undersea vehicles. To improve our understanding of the unsteady propulsion mechanisms used by these swimmers, we report detailed studies of the performance of robotic swimmers that mimic aspects of the animal propulsive mechanisms. We highlight the importance of the undulatory aspect of producing efficient manta ray propulsion and show that there is a strong interaction between the propulsive performance and the flexibility of the actuating surfaces.
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Keywords: flexible actuators; manta ray; mobuliform; swimming; unsteady

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-07-01

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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