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This paper addresses the mechatronic issues of a novel bio-inspired robotic dolphin capable of fast swimming. The robot mechanically consists of a dorsoventrally propulsion mechanism, a turning mechanism, and an up-and-down mechanism. Since the swimming robot is predominantly driven by a series of DC motors and servo motors, the possible alternative to improve the swimming speed is to maximize the motor efficiency. Based on this idea, a new slider-crank centered flapping mechanism with the continuous rotation of the DC motor is proposed to mimic the oscillations of the posterior body and the fluke. Finally, the preliminary robotic prototype is built to validate the effectiveness of the formed robotic design ideas.
Date of Conference: 6-8 July 2012