Design and development of robotic manta ray
Marvin Sugi Hartono.
Date of Issue2009
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Robotics Research Centre
Numerous research projects have been conducted to invent an efficient, maneuverable, and yet eco-friendly underwater propulsion system. Being inspired by nature, this biomimetic related mechatronics project aimed to develop a robotic manta ray featuring flexible pectoral fin flapping mechanism for its underwater propulsion. This project emphasized heavily on the design and construction of the flapping mechanism. The flapping motion was demonstrated by a half-fin prototype, whose design concept was based on three DOF parallel fin ray mechanism, combined with one additional DOF for serial open chain mechanism at the middle ray. Studies on manta ray’s flapping motion were extensively performed to program a realistic flapping motion on the mechanism. The flapping motion characteristics were investigated through curve-fitting processes (discretizations), followed by some kinematics simulations. During tests, the flapping mechanism was able to demonstrate its functionality as potential effective underwater propulsion system. The findings were then used as a basis for development of a full robotic manta ray with identical flapping fin rays mechanisms on both sides. Nevertheless, further studies have to be conducted to enhance the motion of this full robotic manta ray prototype, especially on the non harmonic flapping motion and the integration of buoyancy system.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University