Project Title

A Numerical Analysis of Biomimetic Swimming of Larval Zebrafish Robot

Academic department under which the project should be listed

Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dal Hyung Kim

no human subjects

Project Type

Event

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Researchers today have made many practical approaches towards improving the mobility of small-scale robots for a variety of potential applications in the biomedical field, often by designing them after animals. A larval zebrafish (Danio rerio) is one of the most popular lab animals, and it exhibits a basic set of locomotor patterns on a small-scale to move in a liquid environment. Hydrodynamic simulation is essential to the implementation of a biomimetic motion, and previous studies have characterized thirteen behavioral movements with corresponding sets of average tail angle data, which we interpolated into continuous functions. The functions were compiled into Ansys Fluent and applied to a geometry modeled after a bio inspired robot, created by the lab to mimic larval zebrafish. The rectangular robot is 4 mm long and since the function prescribes the displacement of the robot, the surrounding mesh dynamically changes each time interval. The same mesh is globally discretized and used for every motion to ensure constant spatial resolution. To quantify the transient flow, the native pressure-coupled algorithm (SIMPLE) iteratively solves for Navier-Stokes equations, given the water medium is artificially defined as incompressible with constant density. The result data including pressure and velocity at each time interval has been validated and analyzed with each corresponding larval motion. In the future, the robot’s swimming locomotion will be further experimentally analyzed, as it is optimized to function as a working prototype of the larval fish with more similarity, so that it successfully interacts with its species and habitat.

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A Numerical Analysis of Biomimetic Swimming of Larval Zebrafish Robot

Researchers today have made many practical approaches towards improving the mobility of small-scale robots for a variety of potential applications in the biomedical field, often by designing them after animals. A larval zebrafish (Danio rerio) is one of the most popular lab animals, and it exhibits a basic set of locomotor patterns on a small-scale to move in a liquid environment. Hydrodynamic simulation is essential to the implementation of a biomimetic motion, and previous studies have characterized thirteen behavioral movements with corresponding sets of average tail angle data, which we interpolated into continuous functions. The functions were compiled into Ansys Fluent and applied to a geometry modeled after a bio inspired robot, created by the lab to mimic larval zebrafish. The rectangular robot is 4 mm long and since the function prescribes the displacement of the robot, the surrounding mesh dynamically changes each time interval. The same mesh is globally discretized and used for every motion to ensure constant spatial resolution. To quantify the transient flow, the native pressure-coupled algorithm (SIMPLE) iteratively solves for Navier-Stokes equations, given the water medium is artificially defined as incompressible with constant density. The result data including pressure and velocity at each time interval has been validated and analyzed with each corresponding larval motion. In the future, the robot’s swimming locomotion will be further experimentally analyzed, as it is optimized to function as a working prototype of the larval fish with more similarity, so that it successfully interacts with its species and habitat.