Novel Swimming Mechanism for a Robotic Fish

Novel Swimming Mechanism for a Robotic Fish

Sayyed Farideddin Masoomi (University of Canterbury, New Zealand), XiaoQi Chen (University of Canterbury, New Zealand), Stefanie Gutschmidt (University of Canterbury, New Zealand) and Mathieu Sellier (University of Canterbury, New Zealand)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4225-6.ch004
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Abstract

Efficient cruising, maneuverability, and noiseless performance are the key factors that differentiate fish robots from other types of underwater robots. Accordingly, various types of fish-like robots have been developed such as RoboTuna and Boxybot. However, the existing fish robots are only capable of a specific swimming mode like cruising inspired by tuna or maneuvering inspired by labriforms. However, for accomplishing marine tasks, an underwater robot needs to be able to have different swimming modes. To address this problem, the Mechatronics Group at University of Canterbury is developing a fish robot with novel mechanical design. The novelty of the robot roots in its actuation system, which causes its efficient cruising and its high capabilities for unsteady motion like fast start and fast turning. In this chapter, the existing fish robots are introduced with respect to their mechanical design. Then the proposed design of the fish robot at University of Canterbury is described and compared with the existing fish robots.
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2. Literature Review

Fish robots generally do not mimic the same fish motion in nature and, hence, have different swimming mechanisms. The main element which distinguishes fish robots from other types of underwater vehicles is their propulsion system. Fishes propel through undulation or oscillation of different parts of their body or fins called propulsors. When a fish passes a propulsive wave by its body or its fins in the opposite direction of its movement at a faster speed than swimming speed, its swimming method is referred to as undulation. On the other hand, in oscillation mode, fish generates propulsive waves by oscillating a certain part of its body around its base (Sfakiotakis, Lane, & Davies, 1999). Figure 1 presents some basic terminologies used in this chapter.

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