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Bioinspiration & Biomimetics

Christoph Lauer, Kilian Sillmann, Sebastian Haussmann, Klaus G Nickel
The calcitic spines of the sea urchins Heterocentrotus mamillatus and H. trigonarius are promising role models for lightweight applications, bone tissue scaffolds and energy dissipating processes due to their highly porous and organized structure. Therefore, mechanical properties including Young's Modulus, strength, failure behaviour and energy dissipation efficiency have been investigated in depth with uniaxial compression experiments, 3-point bending tests and resonance frequency damping analysis. It was found that despite a very similar structure, H...
November 30, 2018: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Mingjiang Ji, Yong Zhang, Xiande Zheng, Xin Lin, Guanjun Liu, Jing Qiu
The lateral line is a critical mechanosensory organ that enables fish to perceive the surroundings accurately and rapidly. Massive efforts have been made to build an artificial lateral line system rivaling that of fish for underwater vehicles. Dipole source localization has become a standard problem for evaluating the sensing capabilities of the developed systems. In this paper we propose, for the first time, the MUSIC (multiple signal classification) method in order to achieve high-resolution dipole source localization based on spatial spectrum estimation...
November 27, 2018: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
William S Rone, Yujiong Liu, Pinhas Ben-Tzvi
This paper analyzes control methodologies to implement maneuvering and stabilization behaviors in a bipedal robot using a bioinspired robotic tail. Looking to nature, numerous animals augment their legs' functionality using a tail to assist with both maneuvering and stabilization; looking to the robotics literature, previous research primarily focuses on single-mass, pendulum-like tails designed to perform a specific task. The overarching goal of this research is to study how bioinspired tail designs may be used in conjunction with low-complexity leg designs to achieve high-performance behaviors...
November 16, 2018: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Hector Garcia Vasquez, Giovanni Zocchi
The Artificial Axon is a recently introduced synthetic assembly of supported lipid bilayers and voltage gated ion channels, displaying the basic electrophysiology of nerve cells. Here we demonstrate the use of two artificial axons as control elements to achieve a simple task. Namely, we steer a remote control car towards a light source, using the sensory input dependent firing rate of the axons as the control signal for turning left or right. We present the result in the form of the analysis of a movie of the car approaching the light source...
November 15, 2018: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Joey Zaoyuan Ge, Ariel Calderon, Nestor O Perez-Arancibia
We present the design, fabrication, modeling and feedback control of an earthworm-inspired soft robot capable of bidirectional locomotion on flat and angled platforms, by actively controlling the robot's coefficient of friction between the contacting surfaces. Earthworms are characterized by their segmented body structures, known as metameres. To locomote, their longitudinal and circular muscles contract and relax accord- ingly, generating a peristaltic wave that propagates backwards with respect to the worms' traveling direction...
October 11, 2018: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Alexander Kuznetsov
One of important energy expenses in legged locomotion of both animals and robots is the mechanical antagonism between actuators/muscles, which is the positive mechanical work of some muscles opposed by the simultaneous negative work of the others. One known way to minimize the mechanical antagonism is the proper employment of redundant degrees of freedom of the limb. Here I present and analyze a generalized model of planar serial-linked limb composed of any number of segments and conclude that minimization of the inter-actuator antagonism requires fixation of all the joint angles except the two defined by simple geometric considerations...
September 26, 2018: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Andrew Bodling, Anupam Sharma
Numerical analysis of airfoil geometries inspired by the down coat of the night owl is presented. The bioinspired geometry consists of an array of 'finlet fences', which is placed near the trailing edge of the baseline (NACA 0012) airfoil. Two fences with maximum nondimensional heights, [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] are investigated, where [Formula: see text] is the displacement thickness at 2.9% chord upstream of the airfoil trailing edge. Wall-resolved large eddy simulations are performed at chord-based Reynolds number, [Formula: see text], flow Mach number, [Formula: see text], and angle of attack, [Formula: see text]...
December 7, 2018: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Quoc-Viet Nguyen, Woei Leong Chan
The tailless flapping-wing micro air vehicle (FW-MAV) is one of the most challenging problems in flapping-wing design due to its lack of tail for inherent flight stability. It must be designed in such a way that it can produce proper augmented control moments modulated by a closed-loop attitude controller for active stabilization. We propose a tailless FW-MAV with a wing stroke plane modulation mechanism, namely NUS-Roboticbird, which maneuvers by only using its flapping wings for both propulsion and attitude control...
December 7, 2018: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Chenglei Wang, Hui Tang
This study explores the effects of complex driving motion on the propulsion performance of a flexible foil heaving in the flight regimes of natural flyers. Such a fluid-structure interaction problem is numerically studied using an immersed boundary lattice Boltzmann method (IBLBM) based numerical framework. It is found that, at the Reynolds number 200 and when the foil's bending stiffness and mass ratio are moderate, adding an extra driving motion of doubled frequency to a purely harmonic motion on the foil's leading edge can enhance the thrust and propulsive efficiency by about 860% and 70%, respectively...
December 4, 2018: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Wenbin Chen, Shuang Wu, Tiancheng Zhou, Caihua Xiong
Passive exoskeletons have potential advantages in reducing metabolic energy cost. We consider a passive elastic exoskeleton (peEXO) providing hip flexion moment to assist hip flexors during walking, our goal is to use a biomechanical model to explore the biological mechanics and energetics of the hip joint muscle-tendon-exotendon system for obtaining the optimum stiffness of this peEXO at the muscle-level. Based on our developed hip musculoskeletal model capable of replicating human-like behaviors, the hip peEXO is firstly abstracted as a spring (i...
December 4, 2018: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Nathan Martin, Morteza Gharib
The experimental optimization of bio-inspired flapping fin trajectories are demonstrated for potential applications as a side or a rear propulsor of an autonomous underwater vehicle. The trajectories are scored based upon their difference from a force set-point and upon their efficiency and are parameterized by 10 variables inspired by fish swimming. The flapping fin is a generic rectangular rigid flat plate with a tapered edge. Optimization occurs as follows. First, a generation of trajectories is created...
November 29, 2018: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Nicholas M Smith, Grace V Clayton, Hiba A Khan, Andrew K Dickerson
Insects perform takeoffs from a nearly unquantifiable number of surface permutations and many use their legs to initiate upward movement prior to the onset of wingbeats, including the mosquito. In this study we examine the unprovoked pre-takeoff mechanics of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes from two surfaces of contrasting roughness, one with roughness similar to polished glass and the other comparable to the human forearm. Using high-speed videography, we find mosquitos exhibit two distinct leg actions prior to takeoff, the widely observed push and a previously undocumented leg-strike, where one of the rearmost legs is raised and strikes the ground...
November 27, 2018: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Mohamad Alsalman, Brendan Colvert, Eva Kanso
We consider the inverse problem of classifying flow patterns from local sensory measurements. This problem is inspired by the ability of various aquatic organisms to respond to ambient flow signals, and is relevant for translating these abilities to underwater robotic vehicles. In Colvert, Alsalman and Kanso, B&B (2018), we trained neural networks to classify vortical flows by relying on a single flow sensor that measures a 'time history' of the local vorticity. Here, we systematically investigate the effects of distinct types of sensors on the accuracy of flow classification...
November 27, 2018: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Haijie Zhang, Bo Cheng, Jianguo Zhao
Many biological organisms (e.g. insects, birds, and mammals) rely on the perception of an informational variable called time-to-contact (TTC) to control their motion for various tasks such as avoiding obstacles, landing, or interception. TTC, defined as the required time to contact an object if the current velocity is maintained, has been recently leveraged for robot motion control in various tasks. However, most existing robotic applications of TTC simply control the TTC to be constant or constantly decreasing, without fully exploring the applicability for TTC...
November 27, 2018: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Joan Combie, Ebru Toksoy ├ľner
Levan is a fructose homopolysaccharide which gained attention recently for its unusual combination of properties distinguishing it from other natural biodegradable polysaccharides like chitosan, cellulose or starch. Among the strongest bioadhesives, film-forming levan is garnering interest for its role in some simple solutions to difficult problems. One of these is illustrated by the elegant research using laser-based techniques to construct levan films for healing wounds and burned tissue. Another is the development of bioresorbable electronic implants...
November 20, 2018: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
N Gavrilovic, A Mohamed, M Marino, S Watkins, J-M Moschetta, E Benard
Fixed-wing small, unmanned aerial vehicles usually fly in atmospheric boundary layers that are often under the influence of turbulent environments. Inspired by nature's flyers, an application of an energy-harvesting flight strategy for increasing the energy state of the aircraft is presented. This paper provides basic longitudinal flight dynamic model exposing the physics behind the process. It shows significant power savings in flight with a sinusoidal and stochastic wind profile with active control of energy-harvesting...
November 20, 2018: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Zhongchang Song, Yu Zhang, T Aran Mooney, Xianyan Wang, Adam B Smith, Xiaohui Xu
Sound transmission and reception are both vital components to odontocete echolocation and daily life. Here, we combine computed tomography (CT) scanning and finite element modeling to investigate the acoustic propagation of finless porpoise (Neophocaena asiaorientalis sunameri) echolocation pulses. The CT scanning and finite element method wave propagation model results support the well-accepted jaw-hearing pathway hypothesis and suggest an additional alternative auditory pathway composed of structures, mandible (lower jaw) and internal mandibular fat, with different acoustic impedances, which may also conduct sounds to the ear complexes...
November 13, 2018: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Pho Van Nguyen, Van Anh Ho
Locking surfaces with a wet interface can enhance interactions between a grasped object and a soft pad. This paper presents a mechanical approach to understanding the role of morphological design in achieving wet adhesion for secure grasping by a soft pad. Two conditions were compared in modeling wet interfaces between an object and a soft pad: a pad with a flat surface, and a pad with a micropatterned surface. The latter was designed and analyzed based on the wet attachment between the surface of a tree-frog's toes and its substrate...
November 13, 2018: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Hamid R Vejdani, David B Boerma, Sharon M Swartz, Kenneth S Breuer
We analyze the effects of morphology and wing kinematics on the performance of hovering flight. We present a simplified dynamical model with body translational and rotational degrees of freedom that incorporates the flapping, long-axis wing rotation and folding of the wing. To validate our simulation, we compare our results with direct measurements from hovering insects, hummingbirds and bats. Results show that long-axis wing rotation angle (a proxy for pronation) has a significant effect on energy efficiency...
November 9, 2018: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Christopher J Mayerl, Alison M Sansone, Lucy M Stevens, Garret J Hall, Michael M Porter, Gabriel Rivera, Richard W Blob
Stability and turning performance are two key metrics of locomotor performance in animals, and performance in both of these metrics can be improved through a variety of morphological structures. Aquatic vehicles are often designed with keels and rudders to improve their stability and turning performance, but how keels and rudders function in rigid-bodied animals is less understood. Aquatic turtles are a lineage of rigid-bodied animals that have the potential to function similarly to engineered vehicles, and also might make use of keels and rudders to improve their stability and turning performance...
November 7, 2018: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
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