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ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics

    Hydrodynamic Performance Research of Underwater Oscillating Fin With the Compound Locomotion of Two Modes

    Abstract

    The fish-like propulsion robot is becoming a profound intelligent equipment due to its excellent swimming ability and good environmental adaptability. In this paper, we propose the oscillating fin based on the fish swimming mechanism, which is compounded with the locomotion modes of sway and yaw. The kinematic and dynamic models are established to study the locomotion mechanism of the oscillating fin. The hydrodynamic performance of underwater locomotion is investigated to analyze the velocity, the propulsive force, the pressure, the propulsive efficiency, and the vortices property. Finally, the experimental measurements of the robot with oscillating fin propulsion are carried out to analyze the underwater propulsion of the oscillating fin and the unsteady fluid flow with Strouhal number. The results illustrate that the propulsive force is fluctuating, and the velocity is increasing to the maximum value. The underwater propulsion velocity could reach 1.2 m/s in a period of 0.4 s. Besides, the high- and low-pressure regions change alternatively, and the fin deforming process illustrates the vortices property and the locomotion mechanism analyses. The propulsive efficiency of the oscillating fin with compound waves is increased by 11% compared with that of the one without deformation. The experiments of the robot prototype verify the numerical simulation, and the propulsive velocity with a period of 0.4 s is two times larger than that of a period of 0.8 s. The Strouhal number of each motion mode is obtained through theoretical and experimental analyses.

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