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Proceedings Paper

A bio-inspired bell kinematics design of a jellyfish robot using ionic polymer metal composites actuators
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents the re-creation of the bell deformation cycle of the Aequorea victoria jellyfish. It focuses on the design, fabrication, and characterization of the bio-inspired bell kinematics of an IPMC actuated robotic jellyfish. The shape and bell kinematics of this underwater vehicle are based on the Aequorea victoria jellyfish. This medusa is chosen as a model system based on a comparative bell kinematics study that is conducted among different jellyfish species. Aequorea victoria is known by its low swimming frequency, small bell deformation, and high Froude efficiency (95%). Different methods of implementing the actuators underneath the bell with smaller IPMC actuators are investigated to replicate the natural jellyfish's bell deformation. Results demonstrates that proper placement of the IPMC actuators results in bell configuration that more accurately represents the deformation properties of the natural jellyfish. Smaller IPMC actuators are used to achieve the desired deformation and thus the power consumption is reduced by 70% compared to previous generations. A biomimetic jellyfish robot prototype is built, and its ability to swim and produce thrust with smaller IPMC actuators is shown. The robot swam with four actuators swam at an average speed 0.77 mm/s and consumed 0.7 W. When eight actuators were used the average speed increased to 1.5 mm/s with a power consumption of 1.14 W.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 April 2012
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 8340, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2012, 83401Q (3 April 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.915170
Show Author Affiliations
Joseph Najem, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
Donald J. Leo, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8340:
Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2012
Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Editor(s)

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