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Proceedings Paper

Optimization of a tensegrity wing for biomimetic applications
Author(s): Keith W. Moored; Stuart A. Taylor; Hilary Bart-Smith
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Paper Abstract

Current attempts to build fast, efficient, and maneuverable underwater vehicles have looked to nature for inspiration. However, they have all been based on traditional propulsive techniques, i.e. rotary motors. In the current study a promising and potentially revolutionary approach is taken that overcomes the limitations of these traditional methods-morphing structure concepts with integrated actuation and sensing. Inspiration for this work comes from the manta ray (Manta birostris) and other batoid fish. These creatures are highly maneuverable but are also able to cruise at high speeds over long distances. In this paper, the structural foundation for the biomimetic morphing wing is a tensegrity structure. A preliminary procedure is presented for developing morphing tensegrity structures that include actuating elements. A shape optimization method is used that determines actuator placement and actuation amount necessary to achieve the measured biological displacement field of a ray. Lastly, an experimental manta ray wing is presented that measures the static and dynamic pressure field acting on the ray's wings during a normal flapping cycle.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 April 2006
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6173, Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems, 617313 (5 April 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.658930
Show Author Affiliations
Keith W. Moored, Univ. of Virginia (United States)
Stuart A. Taylor, Univ. of Virginia (United States)
Hilary Bart-Smith, Univ. of Virginia (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6173:
Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Smart Structures and Integrated Systems
Yuji Matsuzaki, Editor(s)

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