Research Papers

Impact of Marine Locomotion Constraints on a Bio-inspired Aerial-Aquatic Wing: Experimental Performance Verification

[+] Author and Article Information
Richard J. Lock

Faculty of Engineering,
University of Bristol,
Bristol BS8 1TR, UK
e-mail: Richard.lock@bristol.ac.uk

Ravi Vaidyanathan

Senior Lecturer in Bio-mechatronics,
Imperial College London,
London SW7 2AZ, UK
e-mail: r.vaidyanathan@imperial.ac.uk

Stuart C. Burgess

Professor of Engineering Design,
Faculty of Engineering,
University of Bristol
Bristol BS8 1TR, UK
e-mail: s.c.burgess@bristol.ac.uk

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANISMS AND ROBOTICS. Manuscript received December 11, 2012; final manuscript received August 21, 2013; published online October 31, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Yuefa Fang.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 6(1), 011001 (Oct 31, 2013) (10 pages) Paper No: JMR-12-1205; doi: 10.1115/1.4025471 History: Received December 11, 2012; Revised August 21, 2013

This paper describes the design, fabrication, experimental testing and performance optimization of the morphology of a flapping wing for use on a robot capable of aerial and aquatic modes of locomotion. The focus of the optimization studies is that of wing design for aquatic propulsion. Inspiration for the research stems from numerous avian species which use a flapping wing for the dual purpose of locomotion (propulsion) in both air and water. The main aim of this research is to determine optimal kinematic parameters for marine locomotion that maximize nondimensionalized performance measures (e.g., propulsive efficiency), derived from analysis of avian wing morphing mechanisms that balance competing demands of both aerial and aquatic movement. Optimization of the kinematic parameters enables the direct comparison between outstretched (aerial) and retracted (aquatic) wing morphologies and permits trade-off studies in the design space for future robotic vehicles. Static foils representing the wing in both an extended and retracted orientation have been manufactured and subsequently subjected to testing over a range of kinematics. Details of the purpose built 2 degree-of-freedom (dof) flapping mechanism are presented. The gathered results enable validation of previously developed numerical models as well as quantifying achievable performance measures. This research focuses on the mechanical propulsive efficiencies and thrust coefficients as key performance measures whilst simultaneously considering the required mechanical input torques and the associated thrust produced.

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Fig. 1

Guillemot during aerial and aquatic locomotion (adapted from unpublished BBC footage) [15]

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Fig. 2

Graphical representation of harmonic nature of the roll and pitch motions, demonstrating phase lag of maximum roll and pitch amplitude [15]

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Fig. 3

Extended and retracted static foil modes with proposed four-bar mechanism to achieve wing morphing

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Fig. 4

Variation in pitch axis orientation (left: extended, right: retracted)

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Fig. 5

Retracted flapping arrangement suspended below platform

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Fig. 6

Complete testing platform, flapping mechanism and control electronics

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Fig. 7

Complete data set for individual test run (retracted wing, ϕo=40 deg, θo=30 deg, f = 0.75 Hz, and Uf = 0.5 m/s

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Fig. 8

Reduced data set for individual test run (retracted wing, ϕo=40 deg, θo=30 deg, f = 0.75 Hz, and Uf = 0.5 m/s). Plots (a) and (b): Solid line—torque, dashed line—angular velocity

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Fig. 9

Comparison of predicted and measured values for the extended foil shape solid line and dashed line, respectively (ϕo=20 deg, θo=15 deg, f = 0.5 Hz, and Uf = 0.25 m/s)

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Fig. 10

Performance maps of extended and retracted foil orientation (f = 1 Hz, Uf = 0.5 m/s)

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Fig. 11

Performance maps of retracted foil orientation. (a) Average power (W), (b) average thrust (N), (c) ηeff, and (d) Ct. Column 1—Uf = 0.2 m/s, column 2—Uf = 0.4 m/s, ϕo=40 deg, frequency varied according to St number

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Fig. 12

Performance maps of extended foil orientation. (a) Average power (W), (b) average thrust (N), (c) ηeff and (d) Ct. Column 1—Uf = 0.2 m/s, column 2—Uf = 0.4 m/s, ϕo=40 deg, frequency varied according to St number

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Fig. 13

Vehicle energy flow diagram [27,28]




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