Maneuverability of a robotic tuna with compliant body
The maneuvering performance of a robotic device designed to mimic the swimming motions of Thunniform swimmers is presented. In contrast to existing designs, this design achieves fish like locomotion through the use of a single actuator and a compliant body and tail. Experiments were performed using both biased swimming motions and coasted turns. During these experiments the Compliant Robotic Tuna (CRT) achieved steady swimming speeds of up to 0.37 body lengths/second, average turning rates of up to 12.6 degrees per second, and turning radii as low as 1 body length. In addition, this paper compares the measured maneuvering performance with the predictions of a simplified rigid body model that was derived using both theoretical and empirical techniques. The swimming motions studied in this paper were achieved using open loop mechanisms. Therefore the potential for performance improvements exists.
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