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Living machinesA handbook of research in biomimetics and biohybrid systems$
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Tony J. Prescott, Nathan Lepora, and Paul F.M.J Verschure

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199674923

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199674923.001.0001

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From aquatic animals to robot swimmers

From aquatic animals to robot swimmers

(p.422) Chapter 44 From aquatic animals to robot swimmers
Living machines

Maarja Kruusmaa

Oxford University Press

Fish and other aquatic animals have developed a diverse repertoire of locomotion and sensing strategies in an environment that is 800 times denser than air. This chapter explains the underlying principles of aquatic locomotion and describes some landmark biomimetic robots based on those principles. Biological underwater swimmers face the trade-off between speed and manoeuvrability and it is argued that the same trade-off exists also with biomimetic vehicles. Biomimetic underwater vehicles mostly mimic carangiform and subcarangiform swimmers which are fast swimmers. The highly manoeuvrable fish species (lampreys, rays, etc.) are a less popular choice of bioinspiration arguably because of their higher complexity and limitations posed by current technology of electromechanical devices. A unique sensing organ, the lateral line, is utilized by all fish species. Artifical lateral lines for sensing flow are briefly discussed as well as the potential of robot control with the help of flow sensing.

Keywords:   fish robots, fin locomotion, flipper locomotion, lateral line, flow sensing

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