A biomimetic robotic jellyfish (Robojelly) actuated by shape memory alloy composite actuators

Alex Villanueva, Colin Smith, Shashank Priya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations

Abstract

An analysis is conducted on the design, fabrication and performance of an underwater vehicle mimicking the propulsion mechanism and physical appearance of a medusa (jellyfish). The robotic jellyfish called Robojelly mimics the morphology and kinematics of the Aurelia aurita species. Robojelly actuates using bio-inspired shape memory alloy composite actuators. A systematic fabrication technique was developed to replicate the essential structural features of A. aurita. Robojelly's body was fabricated from RTV silicone having a total mass of 242 g and bell diameter of 164 mm. Robojelly was able to generate enough thrust in static water conditions to propel itself and achieve a proficiency of 0.19 s-1 while the A. aurita achieves a proficiency of around 0.25 s-1. A thrust analysis based on empirical measurements for a natural jellyfish was used to compare the performance of the different robotic configurations. The configuration with best performance was a Robojelly with segmented bell and a passive flap structure. Robojelly was found to consume an average power on the order of 17 W with the actuators not having fully reached a thermal steady state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number036004
JournalBioinspiration and Biomimetics
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 13 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Medicine(all)

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