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Bioinspir Biomim. 2011 Sep;6(3):036004. doi: 10.1088/1748-3182/6/3/036004. Epub 2011 Aug 18.

A biomimetic robotic jellyfish (Robojelly) actuated by shape memory alloy composite actuators.

Author information

1
Center for Intelligent Material Systems and Structures (CIMSS), Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA.

Abstract

An analysis is conducted on the design, fabrication and performance of an underwater vehicle mimicking the propulsion mechanism and physical appearance of a medusa (jellyfish). The robotic jellyfish called Robojelly mimics the morphology and kinematics of the Aurelia aurita species. Robojelly actuates using bio-inspired shape memory alloy composite actuators. A systematic fabrication technique was developed to replicate the essential structural features of A. aurita. Robojelly's body was fabricated from RTV silicone having a total mass of 242 g and bell diameter of 164 mm. Robojelly was able to generate enough thrust in static water conditions to propel itself and achieve a proficiency of 0.19 s(-1) while the A. aurita achieves a proficiency of around 0.25 s(-1). A thrust analysis based on empirical measurements for a natural jellyfish was used to compare the performance of the different robotic configurations. The configuration with best performance was a Robojelly with segmented bell and a passive flap structure. Robojelly was found to consume an average power on the order of 17 W with the actuators not having fully reached a thermal steady state.

PMID:
21852714
DOI:
10.1088/1748-3182/6/3/036004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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