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Bioinspiration & Biomimetics

Matthew Pevarnik, Weibin Cui, Sukru Yemenicioglu, Justin Rofeh, Luke Theogarajan
Voltage gating is essential to the computational ability of neurons. We show this effect can be mimicked in a solid-state nanopore by functionalizing the pore interior with a redox active molecule. We study the integration of an active biological molecule, a quinone, into a solid state nanopore and its subsequent induced voltage gating. We show that the voltage gating effect mimics biological gating systems in its classic sigmoidal voltage response, unlike previous synthetic voltage gating systems. Initially the quinone undergoes a reduction due to radicals in the bulk solution and is converted to the hydroquinone state...
July 20, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Karen Junius, Marta Moltedo, Pierre Cherelle, Carlos David Rodriguez-Guerrero, Bram Vanderborght, Dirk Lefeber
Despite the increased interest in exoskeleton research in the last decades, not much progress has been made on the successful reduction of user effort. In humans, biarticular elements have been identied as one of the reasons for the energy economy of locomotion. This document gives an extensive literature overview concerning the function of biarticular mus- cles in human beings. The exact role of these muscles in the efficiency of human locomotion is reduced to three elementary functions: energy transfer towards distal joints, efficient control of output force direction and double joint actuation...
July 18, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Luuk H Boulogne, Ben J Wolf, Marco A Wiering, Sietse M van Netten
Fish are able to sense water flow velocities relative to their body with their mechanoreceptive lateral line organ. This organ consists of an array of flow detectors distributed along the fish body. Using the excitation of these individual detectors, fish can determine the location of nearby moving objects. Inspired by this sensory modality, it is shown here how neural networks can be used to extract an object's location from simulated excitation patterns, such as can be measured along arrays of stationary artificial flow velocity sensors...
July 14, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Ayodeji Toluwanimi Bode-Oke, Samane Zeyghami, Haibo Dong
Flight initiation is fundamental for survival, escape from predators and lifting payload from one place to another in biological fliers and can be broadly classified into jumping and non-jumping takeoffs. During jumping takeoffs, the legs generate most of the initial impulse. Whereas the wings generate most of the forces in non-jumping takeoffs, which are usually voluntary, slow, and stable. It is of great interest to understand how these non-jumping takeoffs occur and what strategies insects use to generate large amount of forces required for this highly demanding flight initiation mode...
July 12, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Mohammad Sarim, Manish Kumar, Rashmi Jha, Ali A Minai
Biomimetic robots have gained attention recently for various applications ranging from resource hunting to search and rescue operations during disasters. Biological species are known to intuitively learn from the environment, gather and process data, and make appropriate decisions. Such sophisticated computing capabilities in robots are difficult to achieve, especially if done in real-time with ultra- low energy consumption. Here, we present a novel memristive device based learning architecture for robots. Two terminal memristive devices with resistive switching of oxide layer are modeled in a crossbar array to develop a neuromorphic platform that can impart active real-time learning capabilities in a robot...
July 11, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Zhiwei Liu, Xiaojun Yan, Mingjing Qi, Yangsheng Zhu, Dawei Huang, X Y Zhang, Liwei Lin
The pursuit of high lift force for insect-scale Flapping-wing Micro Aerial Vehicle (FMAV) requires its artificial wings to own biomimetic wing features which are close to its nature counterpart. In this work, we present both fabrication and testing methods for artificial insect wings with biomimetic wing morphology and mechanical properties. The artificial cicada (Hyalessa maculaticollis) wing is fabricated through high precision laser cutting technique and bonding process of multilayer materials. Through controlling the shape of wing venation, the fabrication method can achieve 3-D (three dimensional) wing architecture including cambers or corrugations...
July 11, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Ben Hightower, Rivers Ingersoll, Diana Chin, Carl Lawhon, Andreas Haselsteiner, David Lentink
We describe and explain new advancements in the design of the aerodynamic force platform, a novel instrument that can directly measure the aerodynamic forces generated by freely flying animals and robots. Such <i>in vivo</i> recordings are essential to better understand the precise aerodynamic function of flapping wings in nature, which can critically inform the design of new bioinspired robots. By designing the aerodynamic force platform to be stiff yet lightweight, the natural frequencies of all structural components can be made over five times greater than the frequencies of interest...
July 10, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Kenneth Moses, Simone C Michaels, Mark Willis, Roger D Quinn
A novel approach to fabricating and testing artificial insect wings has been developed. Utilizing these new techniques, locally harvested hawk moth (<i>Manduca sexta</i>) forewings are compared to engineered forewings with varying wing structures. A number of small, flexible engineered forewings were fabricated with identical planform size and shape but with variations in camber, ribbing, thickness and composition. A series of static and dynamic assessments compares the forewings in terms of structure and performance...
July 10, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Edward M Chapman, Tyler E Jenkins, Matthew Bryant
This paper presents a fully coupled electro-hydraulic model of a bio-inspired climbing robot actuated by fluidic artificial muscles (FAMs). This analysis expands upon previous FAM literature by considering not only the force and contraction characteristics of the actuator, but the complete hydraulic and electromechanical circuits as well as the dynamics of the climbing robot. This analysis allows modeling of the time-varying applied pressure, electrical current, and actuator contraction for accurate prediction of the robot motion, energy consumption, and mechanical work output...
July 10, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Reuben Strydom, Mandyam Srinivasan
The aim of this study is to derive a guidance law by which an Unmanned Aerial System(s) (UAS) can pursue a moving target at a constant distance, while concealing its own motion. We derive a closed-form solution for the trajectory of the UAS by imposing two key constraints: (1) the shadower moves in such a way as to be perceived as a stationary object by the shadowee, and (2) the distance between the shadower and shadowee is kept constant. Additionally, the theory presented in this paper considers constraints on the maximum achievable speed and acceleration of the shadower...
July 4, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Iris De Falco, Matteo Cianchetti, Arianna Menciassi
This work presents a soft manipulator for minimally invasive surgery (MIS) inspired by the biological capabilities of the octopus arm. The multi-module arm is composed of three identical units able to move thanks to embedded fluidic actuators which allow omnidirectional bending and elongation, typical movements of the octopus. The use of soft materials makes the arm safe, adaptable and compliant with tissues. In addition, a granular jamming-based stiffening mechanism is integrated in each module with the aim of tuning the stiffness of the manipulator and controlling the interactions with biological structures...
June 30, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Amirkhosro Kazemi, Keith Van de Riet, Oscar M Curet
Mangrove trees play a prominent role in coastal tropic and subtropical regions, providing habitats for many organisms and protecting shorelines against high energy flows. In particular, the species <i>Rhizophora mang</i>le (red mangrove) exhibits complex cluster roots interacting with different hydrological flow conditions. To better understand the resilience of mangrove trees, we modeled the roots as a collection of cylinders with a circular pattern subject to unidirectional flow. We investigated the effect of porosity and spacing ratio between roots by varying both the diameter of the patch, <i>D</i>, and inset cylinders,<i> d</i>...
June 30, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
William Brandon Goodwin, Donglee Shin, Daniel Sabo, SungHwan Hwang, Z John Zhang, J Carson Meredith, Kenneth H Sandhage
Three-dimensional (3-D) replicas of sunflower pollen microparticles, comprised of a multicomponent magnetic spinel ferrite (CoFe<sub>2</sub>O<sub>4</sub>) with tailorable adhesive properties, have been synthesized for the first time via a conformal layer-by-layer (LbL) surface sol-gel (SSG) deposition process followed by organic pyrolysis and oxide compound formation at a peak temperature of 600<sup>o</sup>C to 900<sup>o</sup>C. These high-fidelity ferrite pollen replicas exhibited multimodal (van der Waals, vdW, and magnetic) adhesion that could be tuned via control of the CoFe<sub>2</sub>O<sub>4</sub> nanoparticle and crystal sizes...
June 29, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Qi Wang, J Goosen, Fred Van Keulen
Flapping wings can pitch passively about their pitching axes due to their flexibility, inertia, and aerodynamic loads. A shift in the pitching axis location can dynamically alter the aerodynamic loads, which in turn changes the passive pitching motion and the flight efficiency. Therefore, it is of great interest to investigate the optimal pitching axis for flapping wings to maximize the power efficiency during hovering flight. In this study, flapping wings are modeled as rigid plates with non-uniform mass distribution...
June 20, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Takeshi Kano, Ryo Yoshizawa, Akio Ishiguro
Snakes change their locomotion patterns in response to the environment. This ability is a motivation for developing snake-like robots with highly adaptive functionality. In this study, a decentralised control scheme of snake-like robots that exhibited autonomous gait transition (<i>i.e.</i>, the transition between concertina locomotion in narrow aisles and scaffold-based locomotion on unstructured terrains) was developed. Additionally, the control scheme was validated via simulations. A key insight revealed is that these locomotion patterns were not preprogrammed but emerged by exploiting <i>Tegotae</i>, a concept that describes the extent to which a perceived reaction matches a generated action...
June 5, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Ouriel Barzilay, Lihi Zelnik-Manor, Yoram Gutfreund, Hermann Wagner, Alon Wolf
Barn owls move their heads in very particular motions, compensating for the quasi-immovability of their eyes. These efficient predators often perform peering side-to-side head motions when scanning their surroundings and seeking prey. In this work, we use the head movements of barn owls as a model to bridge between biological active vision and machine vision. The biomotions are measured and used to actuate a specially built robot equipped with a depth camera for scanning. We hypothesize that the biomotions improve scan accuracy of static objects...
June 5, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Jacques Kaiser, Rainer Stal, Anand Subramoney, Arne Roennau, RĂ¼diger Dillmann
Short-term visual prediction is important both in biology and robotics. It allows us to anticipate upcoming states of the environment and therefore plan more efficiently. In theoretical neuroscience, liquid state machines have been proposed as a biologically inspired method to perform asynchronous prediction without a model. However, they have so far only been demonstrated in simulation or small scale pre-processed camera images. In this paper, we use a liquid state machine to predict over the whole 128x128 event stream provided by a real dynamic vision sensor (DVS, or silicon retina)...
June 1, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Natan Shemer, Amir Degani
This work demonstrates a simple, once per step, flight-phase control method for robots running on a planar unknown rough-terrain environment. The robot used to exemplify these control strategies is the ParkourBot, a Spring-Loaded Inverted Pendulum (SLIP)-based robot. The SLIP model is widely used for the description of humans and animals running motion and has been the basis for many robots. A known control scheme for increasing robustness of the conservative, SLIP model is the Swing Leg Retraction (SLR) method...
May 19, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Hanlin Liu, Oscar Curet
Many aquatic animals propelled by elongated undulatory fins can perform complex maneuvers and swim with high efficiency at low speeds. In this type of swimming, one or multiple waves travel along the flexible fin that is composed of fin rays (for bony fish) interconnected with an elastic membrane. In this work, we explore the potential benefits or disadvantages of using passive fin motion based on the coupling of fluid-structure interaction and the elasto-mechanical responses of the undulatory fin. The motivation of this work is to understand how an under-actuated undulating fin can modify its active and passive fin motion to effectively control the hydrodynamic forces and propulsive efficiency...
May 8, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Inaki Rano, Jose Santos
The coverage problem consists on computing a path or trajectory for a robot to pass over all the points in some free area and has applications ranging from floor cleaning to demining. Coverage is solved as a planning problem -- providing theoretical validation of the solution -- or through heuristic techniques which rely on experimental validation. Through a combination of theoretical results and simulations, this paper presents a novel solution to the coverage problem that exploits the chaotic behaviour of a simple biologically inspired motion controller, the Braitenberg vehicle 2b...
May 5, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
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