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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, Rüdiger 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
Bokeon Kwak, Joonbum Bae
Locomotion of water beetles have been widely studied in biology owing to their remarkable swimming skills. Inspired by the oar-like legs of water beetles, designing a robot that swims under the principle of drag-powered propulsion can lead to highly agile mobility. But its motion can easily be discontinuous and jerky due to backward motions (i.e., retraction) of the legs. Here we proposed novel hair-like appendages and considered their coordination to achieve steady and efficient swimming on the water surface...
April 11, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Ali Ahrari, Hong Lei, Montassar Sharif, Kalyanmoy Deb, Xiaobo Tan
Inspired by the lateral line of aquatic vertebrates, an artificial lateral line (ALL) system can localize and track an underwater moving object by analyzing the ambient flow caused by its motion. There are several studies on object detection, localization and tracking by ALL systems, but only a few have investigated the optimal design of the ALL system, the one that on average provides the highest characterization accuracy. Design optimization is particularly important because the uncertainties in the employed flow model and in sensor measurements deteriorate the reliability of sensing...
March 28, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Christine Chevallereau, Frédéric Boyer, Mathieu Porez, Johan Mauny, Yannick Aoustin
To a large extent, robotics locomotion can be viewed as cyclic motions, named gaits. Due to the high complexity of the locomotion dynamics, to find the control laws that ensure an expected gait and its stability with respect to external perturbations, is a challenging issue for feedback control. To address this issue, a promising way is to take inspiration from animals that intensively exploit the interactions of the passive degrees of freedom of their body with their physical surroundings, to outsource the high-level exteroceptive feedback control to low-level proprioceptive ones...
June 20, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
J N Fernando, D E Rival
The dynamics of a simple perching manoeuvre are investigated using circular and aspect-ratio-two elliptical flat plates, as abstractions of low-aspect-ratio planforms observed in highly-manoeuvrable birds. The perching kinematic investigated in this study involves a pitch-up motion from an angle of attack of [Formula: see text] to [Formula: see text], while simultaneously decelerating. This motion is defined by the shape change number, [Formula: see text], which acts as a measure of the relative contributions of added-mass and circulatory effects...
June 20, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Il Hwan Han, Hoon Yi, Chang-Woo Song, Hoon Eui Jeong, Seung-Yop Lee
Caterpillars are very successful soft-bodied climbers that navigate in complex environments. This paper develops a multi-segmented robot climbing on vertical surfaces using dry adhesive pads, inspired by caterpillar locomotion. The miniaturized robot consists of four segments, and each segment uses a solenoid actuator with a permanent magnet plunger. The head and body segments adapt a novel mechanism and Scott-Russell linkages to generate a bi-directional plane motion using one solenoid actuator, resulting to reliable attaching and peeling motions of gecko pads...
June 15, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Benjamin Goldberg, Neel Doshi, Kaushik Jayaram, Robert J Wood
Performance metrics such as speed, cost of transport, and stability are the driving factors behind gait selection in legged locomotion. To help understand the effect of gait on the performance and dynamics of small-scale ambulation, we explore four quadrupedal gaits over a wide range of stride frequencies on a 1.43 g, biologically-inspired microrobot, the Harvard Ambulatory MicroRobot (HAMR). Despite its small size, HAMR can precisely control leg frequency, phasing, and trajectory, making it an exceptional platform for gait studies at scales relevant to insect locomotion...
June 15, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
James Bluman, Chang-Kwon Kang
Wing-wake interaction is a characteristic nonlinear flow feature that can enhance unsteady lift in flapping flight. However, the effects of wing-wake interaction on the flight dynamics of hover are inadequately understood. We use a well-validated 2D Navier-Stokes equation solver and a quasi-steady model to investigate the role of wing-wake interaction on the hover stability of a fruit fly scale flapping flyer. The Navier-Stokes equations capture wing-wake interaction, whereas the quasi-steady models do not...
June 15, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Mark Jankauski, T L Daniel, I Y Shen
Maneuvering in both natural and artificial miniature flying systems is assumed to be dominated by aerodynamic phenomena. To explore this, we develop a flapping wing model integrating aero and inertial dynamics. The model is applied to an elliptical wing similar to the forewing of the Hawkmoth Manduca sexta and realistic kinematics are prescribed. We scrutinize the stroke deviation phase, as it relates to firing latency in airborne insect steering muscles which has been correlated to various aerial maneuvers...
June 8, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Ali Shahini, Hai Jin, Zhixian Zhou, Yang Zhao, Pai-Yen Chen, Jing Hua, Mark Ming-Cheng Cheng
We present tunable compound eyes made of ionic liquid lenses, of which both curvatures (R 1 and R 2 in the lensmaker's equation) can be individually changed using electrowetting on dielectric (EWOD) and applied pressure. Flexible graphene is used as a transparent electrode and is integrated on a flexible polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)/parylene hybrid substrate. Graphene electrodes allow a large lens aperture diameter of between 2.4 mm and 2.74 mm. Spherical aberration analysis is performed using COMSOL to investigate the optical property of the lens under applied voltage and pressure...
June 8, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Nicholas S Szczecinski, Roger D Quinn
We previously developed a neural controller for one leg of our six-legged robot, MantisBot, that could direct locomotion toward a goal by modulating leg-local reflexes with simple descending commands from a head sensor. In this work, we successfully apply an automated method to tune the control network for all three pairs of legs of our hexapod robot MantisBot in only 90 s with a desktop computer. Each foot's motion changes appropriately as the body's intended direction of travel changes. In addition, several results from studies of walking insects are captured by this model...
June 8, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Kannan Badri Narayanan, Sung Soo Han
Viral nanotechnology is revolutionizing the biomimetic and bioinspired synthesis of novel nanomaterials. Bottom-up nanofabrication by self-assembly of individual molecular components of elongated viral nanoparticles (VNPs) and virus-like particles (VLPs) has resulted in the production of superior materials and structures in the nano(bio)technological fields. Viral capsids are attractive materials, because of their symmetry, monodispersity, and polyvalency. Helical VNPs/VLPs are unique prefabricated nanoscaffolds with large surface area to volume ratios and high aspect ratios, and enable the construction of exquisite supramolecular nanostructures...
May 19, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Brian K Taylor, Sönke Johnsen, Kenneth J Lohmann
Diverse taxa use Earth's magnetic field to aid both short- and long-distance navigation. Study of these behaviors has led to a variety of postulated sensory and processing mechanisms that remain unconfirmed. Although several models have been proposed to explain and understand these mechanisms' underpinnings, they have not necessarily connected a putative sensory signal to the nervous system. Using mathematical software simulation, hardware testing and the computational neuroscience tool of dynamic neural fields, the present work implements a previously developed conceptual model for processing magnetite-based magnetosensory data...
May 19, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Tien Van Truong, Tuyen Quang Le, Hoon Cheol Park, Doyoung Byun
In this paper, we measure unsteady forces and visualize 3D vortices around a beetle-like flapping wing model in hovering flight by experiment and numerical simulation. The measurement of unsteady forces and flow patterns around the wing were conducted using a dynamically scaled wing model in the mineral-oil tank. The wing kinematics were directly derived from the experiment of a real beetle. The 3D flow structures of the flapping wing were captured by using air bubble visualization while forces were measured by a sensor attached at the wing base...
May 17, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
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