Volume 3, Number 4, 2006
Special Issue on Biologically Inspired Robotic Fish (pp.325-424)
Over the past 20 years, experimental analyses of the biomechanics of locomotion in fishes have generated a number of key findings that are relevant to the construction of biomimetic fish robots. In this paper, we present 16 results from recent experimental research on the mechanics, kinematics, fluid dynamics, and control of fish locomotion that summarize recent work on fish biomechanics. The findings and principles that have emerged from biomechanical studies of fish locomotion provide important insights into the functional design of fishes and suggest specific design features relevant to construction of robotic fish-inspired vehicles that underlie the high locomotor performance exhibited by fishes.
Behaviour-based approach plays a key role for mobile robots to operate safely in unknown or dynamically changing environments. We have developed a hybrid control architecture for our autonomous robotic fish that consists of three layers: cognitive, behaviour and swim pattern. In this paper, we describe some main design issues of the behaviour layerbehaviour layer, which is the centre of the layered control architecture of our robotic fish. Fuzzy logic control (FLC) is adopted here to design individual behaviours. Simulation and real experiments are presented to show the feasibility and the performance of the designed behaviour layerbehaviour layer.
This paper presents an environmental-friendly robotic system mimicking the undulating fins of a fish. To mimic the actual flexible fin of real fish, a fin-like mechanism with a series of connecting linkages is modeled and attached to the robotic fish, by virtue of a specially designed strip. Each link is able to turn and slide with respect to the adjacent link. These driving linkages are then used to form a mechanical fin consisting of several fin segments, which are able to produce undulations, similar to those produced by the actual fish fins. Owing to the modular and re-configurable design of the mechanical fin, we are able to construct biomimetic robotic fish with various swimming modes by fin undulations. Some qualitative and workspace observations by experiments of the robotic fish are shown and discussed.
In order to develop a new type of fish-like microrobot with swimming, walking, and floating motions, in our past research, we developed a hybrid microrobot actuated by ionic conducting polymer film (ICPF) actuators. But the microrobot had some problems in walking and floating motions. In this paper, we propose a concept of hybrid microrobot (see Fig. 1). The microrobot is actuated by a pair of caudal fins, a base with legs and an array of artificial swim bladders. We have developed a prototype of the base with legs and one artificial swim bladder, respectively, and carried out experiments for evaluating their characteristics. Experimental results show the base with legs can realize walking speed of 6 mm/s and rotating speed of 7.1 degrees/s respectively, and the prototype of the artificial swim bladder has a maximum floatage of 2.6 mN. The experimental results also indicate that the microrobot has some advantages, such as walking motion with 2 degrees of freedom, the walking ability on rough surface (sand paper), the controllable floatage, etc. This kind of fish-like microrobot is expected for industrial and medical applications.
The paper addresses the designs of a caudal peduncle actuator, which is able to furnish a thrust for swimming of a robotic fish. The caudal peduncle actuator is based on concepts of ferromagnetic shape memory alloy (FSMA) composite and hybrid mechanism that can provide a fast response and a strong thrust. The caudal peduncle actuator was inspired by Scomber Scombrus which utilises thunniform mode swimming, which is the most efficient locomotion mode evolved in the aquatic environment, where the thrust is generated by the lift-based method, allowing high cruising speeds to be maintained for a long period of time. The morphology of an average size Scomber Scombrus (length in 310 mm) was investigated, and a 1:1 scale caudal peduncle actuator prototype was modelled and fabricated. The propulsive wave characteristics of the fish at steady speeds were employed as initial design objectives. Some key design parameters are investigated, i.e. aspect ratio (AR) (AR = 3.49), Reynolds number (Re = 429649), reduced frequency (= 1.03), Strouhal number (St = 0.306) and the maximum strain of the bent tail was estimated at= 1.11% which is in the range of superelasticity. The experimental test of the actuator was carried out in a water tank. By applying 7 V and 2.5 A, the actuator can reach the tip-to-tip rotational angle of 85at 4 Hz.
Many fishes use undulatory fin to propel themselves in the underwater environment. These locomotor mechanisms have a popular interest to many researchers. In the present study, we perform a three-dimensional unsteady computation of an undulatory mechanical fin that is driven by Shape Memory Alloy (SMA). The objective of the computation is to investigate the fluid dynamics of force production associated with the undulatory mechanical fin. An unstructured, grid-based, unsteady Navier-Stokes solver with automatic adaptive remeshing is used to compute the unsteady flow around the fin through five complete cycles. The pressure distribution on fin surface is computed and integrated to provide fin forces which are decomposed into lift and thrust. The velocity field is also computed throughout the swimming cycle. Finally,a comparison is conducted to reveal the dynamics of force generation according to the kinematic parameters of the undulatory fin (amplitude, frequency and wavelength).
It is our target to develop underwater microrobots for medical and industrial applications. This kind of underwater microrobots should have the characteristics of flexibility,good response and safety. Its structure should be simple and it can be driven by low voltage and produces no pollution or noise. The low actuating voltage and quick bending responses of Ionic Conducting Polymer Film (ICPF) are considered very useful and attractive for constructing various types of actuators and sensors. In this paper, we will first study the characteristics of the ICPF actuator used in underwater microrobot to realize swimming and walking. Then, we propose a new prototype model of underwater swimming microrobot utilizing only one piece of ICPF as the servo actuator. Through theoretic analysis, the motion mechanism of the microrobot is illustrated. It can swim forward and vertically. The relationships between moving speed and signal voltage amplitude and signal frequency is obtained after experimental study. Lastly, we present a novel underwater crab-like walking microrobot named crabliker-1.It has eight legs, and each leg is made up of two pieces of ICPF. Three sample processes of the octopod gait are proposed with a new analyzing method. The experimental results indicate that the crab-like underwater microrobot can perform transverse and rotation movement when the legs of the crab collaborate.
A novel technique is proposed for the incremental construction of sparse radial basis function (RBF) networks. The correlation between an RBF regressor and the training data is used as the criterion to position and shape the RBF node, and it is shown that this is equivalent to incrementally minimise the modelling mean square error. A guided random search optimisation method, called the repeated weighted boosting search, is adopted to append RBF nodes one by one in an incremental regression modelling procedure. The experimental results obtained using the proposed method demonstrate that it provides a viable alternative to the existing state-of-the-art modelling techniques for constructing parsimonious RBF models that generalise well.
The main purpose of this paper is to investigate the problem of quadratic stability and stabilization in switched linear systems using reducible Lie algebra. First, we investigate the structure of all real invariant subspaces for a given linear system. The result is then used to provide a comparable cascading form for switching models. Using the common cascading form, a common quadratic Lyapunov function is (QLFs) is explored by finding common QLFs of diagonal blocks. In addition, a cascading Quaker Lemma is proved. Combining it with stability results, the problem of feedback stabilization for a class of switched linear systems is solved.
Efficient real time data exchange over the Internet plays a crucial role in the successful application of web-based systems. In this paper, a data transfer mechanism over the Internet is proposed for real time web based applications. The mechanism incorporates the extensible Markup Language (XML) and Hierarchical Data Format (HDF) to provide a flexible and efficient data format. Heterogeneous transfer data is classified into light and heavy data, which are stored using XML and HDF respectively; the HDF data format is then mapped to Java Document Object Model (JDOM) objects in XML in the Java environment. These JDOM data objects are sent across computer networks with the support of the Java Remote Method Invocation (RMI) data transfer infrastructure. Clients defined data priority levels are implemented in RMI, which guides a server to transfer data objects at different priorities. A remote monitoring system for an industrial reactor process simulator is used as a case study to illustrate the proposed data transfer mechanism.
Recently, lots of smoothing techniques have been presented for maneuvering target tracking. Interacting multiple model-probabilistic data association (IMM-PDA) fixed-lag smoothing algorithm provides an efficient solution to track a maneuvering target in a cluttered environment. Whereas, the smoothing lag of each model in a model set is a fixed constant in traditional algorithms. A new approach is developed in this paper. Although this method is still based on IMM-PDA approach to a state augmented system, it adopts different smoothing lag according to diverse degrees of complexity of each model. As a result, the application is more flexible and the computational load is reduced greatly. Some simulations were conducted to track a highly maneuvering target in a cluttered environment using two sensors. The results illustrate the superiority of the proposed algorithm over comparative schemes, both in accuracy of track estimation and the computational load.