A bio-inspired prototype fish using the flexible matrix composite (FMC) muscle technology is developed for fin and body actuation. Flexible matrix composite actuators are pressure driven muscle-like actuators capable of large displacements as well as large block forces. An analytical model of the artificial fish using FMC actuators is developed and analysis results are presented. An experimental prototype of the artificial fish having FMC artificial muscles has been completed and tested. Constant mean thrusts have been achieved in the laboratory for a stationary fish for different undulation frequencies around 1 Hz. The experimental results demonstrate that a constant thrust can be achieved through tuning of excitation frequency. Free-swimming results show that the prototype can swim at approximately 0.9 m/s.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.