An experimental undulating-fin device using the Parallel Bellows Actuator

M. Sfakiotakis, D. M. Lane, B. C. Davies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To investigate undulating median fin propulsion and its potential for implementation in man-made underwater vehicles, a "fin actuator" has been developed. The device consists of eight Parallel Bellows Actuators ("fin rays") arranged in a series and interconnected via a flexible material ("fin membrane"). The PBAs are pneumatically driven and allow for bending movements in any orientation plane. Position data are provided by flexible electrogoniometers. The forces generated from the fin actuator undulations are measured by a pair of tri-axial force sensors. Initial testing has concentrated on two-dimensional fin ray motions, whereby each PBA moves laterally, with the deflection angle performing a sinusoidal variation. Preliminary measurements, for a range of the propulsive waveform parameters, demonstrate reversible thrust generation and good agreement with the theoretical predictions of a momentum-based model.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
Pages2356-2362
Number of pages7
Volume3
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Event2001 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 21 May 200126 May 2001

Conference

Conference2001 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
CountryKorea, Republic of
CitySeoul
Period21/05/0126/05/01

Keywords

  • Biomimetics
  • Elongated body theory
  • Flexible actuator
  • Gymnotiform
  • Underwater vehicle propulsion

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  • Cite this

    Sfakiotakis, M., Lane, D. M., & Davies, B. C. (2001). An experimental undulating-fin device using the Parallel Bellows Actuator. In Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (Vol. 3, pp. 2356-2362)