Establishment of a biomimetic device based on tri-layer polymer actuators-propulsion fins
We propose to use bending type tri-layer polymer actuators as propulsion fins for a biomimeticdevice consisting of a rigid body, like a box fish having a carapace, and paired fins runningthrough the rigid body, like a fish having pectoral fins. The fins or polymer bending actuatorscan be considered as individually controlled flexible membranes. Each fin is activated withsinusoidal inputs such that there is a phase lag between the movements of successive fins tocreate enough thrust force for propulsion. Eight fins with 0.125 aspect ratio have been usedalong both sides of the rigid body to move the device in the direction perpendicular to thelongitudinal axis of the body. The designed device with the paired fins was successfully tested,moving in an organic solution consisting of solvent, propylene carbonate (PC), and electrolyte.The design procedure outlined in this study is offered as a guide to making functional devicesbased on polymer actuators and sensors.
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