Characterization and modeling of biomimetic untethered robots swimming in viscous fluids in circular channels
Temel, Fatma Zeynep and Erman, Aydek Gökçe and Yeşilyurt, Serhat (2012) Characterization and modeling of biomimetic untethered robots swimming in viscous fluids in circular channels. (Submitted)
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Micro robots with bio-inspired propulsion mechanisms such as rotating helical flagella are promising tools for minimally invasive surgery, diagnosis, targeted therapy, drug delivery and material removal inside the human body. Understanding of the swimming behavior of swimmers inside fluid filled channels is essential for design and control of micro robots inside arteries and conduits in living organisms. In this work, we present experiments and modeling of untethered cm-scale robots with rotating heli-cal tails placed inside tubes filled with viscous fluids to mimic swimming of micro robots in aqueous solutions. A capsule that contains the battery and a small dc motor is used for the body of the robots. Helical tails with different wavelengths and amplitudes are used in experiments to compare swimming speeds and body rotation rates of ro-bots in a cylindrical channel with the diameter of 36 mm. Governing partial differential equations of the fluid flow, Stokes equations, are solved with computational fluid dy-namics (CFD) to predict velocities of robots, which are compared with experiments for validation, and to analyze the effect of the radial position of the robot on its swim-ming speed, forces acting on the robot, and efficiency.
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