Electroactive Polymer Artificial Muscles Enabled RoboFish



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Autonomous underwater robots are highly demanded in environmental monitoring, intelligent collection, and deep water exploration. Recent years have witnessed significant effort in development of bio-inspired underwater robots to mimic aquatic animals, such as robotic fish, robotic jelly fish, and robotic manta ray, to achieve high energy propulsion efficiency and maneuvering capabilities. Novel actuating materials, which are lightweight, soft, and capable of generating large flapping motion under electrical stimuli, are highly desirable to build such bio-inspired robotic fish. Electroactive polymers (EAPS) are emerging smart materials that can generate large deformations under electrical stimuli. As an important category of ionic EAPs, Ionic Polymer-Metal Composites (IPMCs) can work under wet conditions with low actuation voltages, which shows their great potential as artificial muscles in bio-inspired underwater robots. In this talk, a systems perspective is taken, from modeling, control, fabrication, and bio-inspired design, which addresses the most challenges in this research area. Three types of bio-inspired underwater robots using artificial muscles will be presented in this talk, including robotic fish, robotic manta ray, and artificial swimming bladder. Advantages and challenges of using IPMC artificial muscles in bio-inspired robots will be concluded at the end.



autonomous underwater robots, environmental monitoring, intelligent collection, deep water exploration, robotic fish, Ionic Polymer-Metal Composites, Electroactive polymers, Autonomous underwater robots, Environmental monitoring, Intelligent collection, Deep water exploration, Robotic fish, Ionic Polymer-Metal Composites, Electroactive polymers