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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
Il Whan 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...
May 11, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Benjamin Goldberg, Neel Doshi, Kaushik Jayaram, Robert 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 1.43g, 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...
May 9, 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
Mark Jankauski, Thomas Daniel, I 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 explore critically the stroke deviation phase, as it relates to firing latency in airborne insect steering muscles which has been correlated to various aerial maneuvers...
May 5, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Ali Shahini, Hai Jin, Zhixian Zhou, Yang Zhao, Pai-Yen Chen, Jing Hua, Mark Cheng
We present tunable compound eyes made of ionic liquid lenses which are capable of changing both curvatures (R1 and R2 in the lens maker equation) using electrowetting on dielectric (EWOD) and applied pressure individually. The flexible graphene is used as a transparent electrode and has been integrated on a flexible polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)/parylene hybrid substrate. Graphene electrodes allow large lens aperture diameter between 2.4 mm and 2.74 mm. Spherical aberration analysis has been performed using COMSOL to investigate the optical property of the lens under applied voltage and pressure...
May 2, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
James Bluman, Chang-Kwon Kang
Wing-wake interaction is a characteristic nonlinear flow feature that can enhance the 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 two-dimensional 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 the wing-wake interaction, whereas the quasi-steady models do not...
May 2, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Nicholas Stephen Szczecinski, Roger 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 seconds 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...
April 19, 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
Glenn Mathijssen, Tom Verstraten, Cyprian Espinoza, Simon Beckers, Dirk Lefeber, Bram Vanderborght, Raphaël Furnémont
On compliant actuators, intermittent series-parallel elastic actuators (iSPEA) can reduce motor load by variable load cancellation through recruitment of parallel springs by a single motor. However, the potential to reduce electric energy consumed, compared to a traditional stiff driven joint has not yet been evaluated thoroughly both in simulations and experiments. We have developed a 1 DOF MACCEPA-based iSPEA test bench with a self-closing intermittent mechanism. An iSPEA driven warehouse robot is used as a case study in simulation...
March 13, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Hoang Vu Phan, Quang Tri Truong, Hoon Cheol Park
This work presents a parametric study to find a proper wing configuration for achieving economic flight by using unsteady blade element theory, which is based on the three-dimensional kinematics of a flapping wing. Power loading was first considered as a performance parameter for the study. The power loadings at each wing section along the wingspan were obtained for various geometric angles of attacks (AoAs) by calculating the ratios of the vertical forces generated and the powers consumed by that particular wing section...
March 10, 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
Benjamin Fritz, Ruben Hünig, Raphael Schmager, Michael Hetterich, Uli Lemmer, Guillaume Gomard
Many plant surfaces, such as rose petals, display lens-like epidermal cells that are known to assist the collection and focusing of the sunlight. Those cells form an array with a high degree of structural irregularities including disorder in the height and orientation of the cells, and in their arrangement. In this study, we numerically analyze the influence of structural disorder on the optical properties of a 3D modeled epidermal cell array using ray tracing simulations. We conclude that the anti-reflection properties of such structures are almost unperturbed by disorder effects, although the latter can notably broaden the propagation angle distribution of the collected light...
May 4, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Takeshi Kano, Kazuhiko Sakai, Kotaro Yasui, Dai Owaki, Akio Ishiguro
Legged animals exhibit adaptive and resilient locomotion through interlimb coordination. The long-term goal of this study is to clarify the relationship between the number of legs and the inherent decentralized control mechanism for interlimb coordination. As a preliminary step, the study focuses on millipedes as they represent the species with the greatest number of legs among various animal species. A decentralized control mechanism involving local force feedback was proposed based on the qualitative findings of behavioural experiments in which responses to the removal of part of the terrain and leg amputation were observed...
April 4, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Zhenshan Bing, Long Cheng, Guang Chen, Florian Röhrbein, Kai Huang, Alois Knoll
Snake-like robots with 3D locomotion ability have significant advantages of adaptive travelling in diverse complex terrain over traditional legged or wheeled mobile robots. Despite numerous developed gaits, these snake-like robots suffer from unsmooth gait transitions by changing the locomotion speed, direction, and body shape, which would potentially cause undesired movement and abnormal torque. Hence, there exists a knowledge gap for snake-like robots to achieve autonomous locomotion. To address this problem, this paper presents the smooth slithering gait transition control based on a lightweight central pattern generator (CPG) model for snake-like robots...
April 4, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Hoang Vu Phan, Taesam Kang, Hoon Cheol Park
An insect-like tailless flapping wing micro air vehicle (FW-MAV) without feedback control eventually becomes unstable after takeoff. Flying an insect-like tailless FW-MAV is more challenging than flying a bird-like tailed FW-MAV, due to the difference in control principles. This work introduces the design and controlled flight of an insect-like tailless FW-MAV, named KUBeetle. A combination of four-bar linkage and pulley-string mechanisms was used to develop a lightweight flapping mechanism that could achieve a high flapping amplitude of approximately 190°...
April 4, 2017: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
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