This paper presents vibration analysis and structural optimization of a self-assembled structure for swimming. The mode shapes of the structure resemble the body waveform of a swimming Mackerel fish. The lateral deformation waveform of the body of Mackerel is extracted from literature. At higher swimming speeds fish generate the waveform at a higher frequency. Their body waveform stays the same at almost all normal swimming speeds. At the final destination, the box self-assembles using shape memory alloys. The shape memory alloys used for configuration change of the box robot cannot be used for swimming since they fail to operate at high frequencies. MFCs are actuated at the fundamental natural frequency of the structure. This excites the primary mode of resonance. The primary mode of resonance involves rotations of the joints of the robot in the desired fashion. The MFCs are therefore used to indirectly generate the body waveform. We optimize the thickness of the panels and the stiffness of the joints to most efficiently generate the swimming waveforms. Unlike eel we change the speed of the robot by changing the amplitude of the body motions. This is because the frequency of the motion is fixed to the first natural frequency of the robot. The swimming box can swim over the surface and can also swim underwater. With slight modification the boxes can crawl or slither over the land.
- Aerospace Division
Self-Assembling Swimming Smart Boxes
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Karami, MA, Esfahani, ET, Daghooghi, M, & Borazjani, I. "Self-Assembling Swimming Smart Boxes." Proceedings of the ASME 2014 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems. Volume 2: Mechanics and Behavior of Active Materials; Integrated System Design and Implementation; Bioinspired Smart Materials and Systems; Energy Harvesting. Newport, Rhode Island, USA. September 8–10, 2014. V002T06A006. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/SMASIS2014-7533
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