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Using Bio-Inspiration to Improve Capabilities of Underwater Vehicles

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Alan J Murphy, Dr Maryam HaroutunianORCiD


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There are over 750,000 marine species ranging in size from a few micrometers to dozens of meters, all of which, through the natural process of evolution, have arrived at "successful" solutions to surviving and operating in the ocean space. Many of these species have capabilities and functionality which have much in common with the engineered capabilities required for underwater vehicles e.g. propulsion/locomotion, manoeuvrability/agility and the ability & resilience to operate at depth. Indeed, in many examples, it appears the biological solutions exhibit superior performance compared to the technological alternative, yet in biology these capabilities are achieved by different and diverse means. In this research an extensive study on the capabilities of marine animals has been conducted in relation to the equivalent capability on AUVs. And the biological solutions to propulsion, agility, depth and vehicle (or animal) architecture have been focused on. This paper will present the approach adopted, some specific studies and key results from using a bio-inspired approach to improving AUV engineering capabilities.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Murphy AJ, Haroutunian M

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 17th International Symposium on Unmanned Untethered Submersible Technology (UUST)

Year of Conference: 2011

Pages: 12pp