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1 April 2014 Development of a biologically inspired hydrobot tail
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It has been hypothesized that Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter, has a large ocean underneath a thick layer of ice. In order to determine whether life exists, it has been proposed that an underwater glider (hydrobot) capable of propulsion could be sent to explore the vast ocean. In this research, we considered various smart materials to create a propulsion device inspired by dolphin tails. Dolphins are highly efficient and excellent gliders, which makes them the ideal candidate for ocean exploration. In order to select the best dolphin species, we began by reviewing literature and then utilized the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) to compare the different species. Lagenorhynchus obliquidens (Pacific White-Sided Dolphin) was found to be the best choice for creating a bioinspired hydrobot. We then conducted literature review of various smart materials and using this knowledge constructed a hydrobot tail prototype. This prototype demonstrates that smart materials can be fashioned into suitable actuators to control a tail fashioned after a dolphin.
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Danielle Moore, Alhaji Janneh, and Michael Philen "Development of a biologically inspired hydrobot tail", Proc. SPIE 9057, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2014, 90573D (1 April 2014);

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