Fluid Dynamics Seminar

Mon., Feb. 25, 2013, 4:00 PM
Cullimore, Room 611
New Jersey Institute of Technology


Bio-Inspired Locomotion in Newtonian Fluids: Crawling, Flying, and Swimming

Hassan Masoud


Courant Institute, New York University



Autonomous robots that are able to efficiently move through fluids have a broad range of applications in today’s state-of-the-art technologies. For instance, micro aerial vehicles (MAVs) can be used in surveillance and rescue missions where the use of larger aerial robots is not practical. As another example, microrobots that navigate in highly viscous microfluidic environments have the potential to revolutionize targeted drug delivery, microsurgery, lab-on-a-chip systems, and micro/nano fabrication. In this talk, we introduce design ideas for autonomous robots that use modes of locomotion similar to those exist in biological systems. Specifically, we propose conceptual designs for crawling microcapsules, insect size flapping wing flyers, and gel powered microswimmers. We use three dimensional computer simulations to examine the performance of our bio-inspired designs. Locomotion in our systems involve strong fluid-structure interactions. To capture these interactions, we employ a hybrid method that integrates a lattice Boltzmann model for the dynamics of incompressible Newtonian fluids and a lattice spring model for the mechanics of elastic solids. The results of our simulations indicate that our simple design ideas deliver desired functionalities.