Nature inspires creativity: in building a silent propulsion system for boats and water sport devices, researchers used the octopus as their role model. The system can be produced at a low cost and in a single step with a 3D printer.
Octopods, which are also known as octopuses or squid, are considered to be the most intelligent invertebrates. In fact, they have been referred to as the “sages of the sea”. They are capable of learning; they can open tin cans, and can even tell patterns apart. They are also clever when it comes to protecting themselves from their enemies. While they generally move along the ocean floor with their eight arms, they flee by swimming head-first, in line with the principles of propulsion. When the mollusk does this, water is taken into its mantle, which is then closed by contracting sphincter muscles. The water is then squirted back out at a high pressure through a funnel. The resulting propulsion pushes the octopus forward in the opposite direction. By changing the position of the funnel, the octopus can precisely steer its direction of travel. For researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA, this intelligent propulsion principle served as a role model for the development of an underwater propulsion system.
“Squids use this type of movement mainly if they are trying to flee suddenly and quickly. The system is simple, but effective. When they use it, the octopods can speed up considerably over short distances,” says Andreas Fischer, an engineer at IPA in Stuttgart. “We have integrated this propulsion principle into our underwater actuators: four elastomer balls with mechanical inner workings create propulsion by pumping water.”
Water is sucked into each actuator or elastomer ball through an opening ; a recirculation valve prevents reflux. A hydraulic piston contracts the integrated cable structure like a muscle. In this way, it pushes the water out of the 20 x 6 cm ball. In turn, a motor pump moves the hydraulic piston.
“Our underwater actuator is well-suited for maneuvering small boats. It can also be used as a floating aid for water sport devices such as jet skis, surf boards, or scooters that pull divers into deep water. In contrast to ship propellers, it is quiet, and fish cannot get caught in it,” the researcher says in explaining the benefits of the system, which has just successfully past initial laboratory tests.
Industrial robots shorten production processes
The best part: the experts can produce the system in a single step with a 3D printer. In order to produce its complex geometry amorphously with soft plastic, the researchers opted for the fused deposition modeling generative production process, or FDM for short. With this approach, the plastics to be processed are heated and liquefied in an extrusion head , and are transformed into a thin filament in the pressure nozzle. This filament is then applied in layers, from bottom to top, to produce a complex 3D component. Fischer and his team used thermoplastics such as polyurethane because of their flexibility. The final product of this process is an underwater propulsion system that can stand extreme levels of pressure without breaking. Even in situations of very high stress, it always returns to its original shape.
The Latest Bing News on:
- 2017 General Motors SURUS Concepton October 8, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Surus, or Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure ... a family of commercial vehicle solutions that leverages a single propulsion system integrated into a common chassis.
- Battery Pack for Marine Hybrid & Full Electric Propulsion Market - Global Industry Analysis and Forecast, 2020-2030 - ResearchAndMarkets.comon October 8, 2020 at 9:15 am
The "Battery Pack for Marine Hybrid & Full Electric Propulsion Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2020-2030" report has been added to ...
- Raising The Titanic’s Radio Roomon October 7, 2020 at 5:01 pm
She boasted the latest in propulsion and navigation technology ... It consisted of three rooms: the main room for the operator, a “Silent Room” with soundproof walls to house the loud spark ...
- Osseo, the Performance Sailing Yacht Perfect for a Millionaire Pirateon October 6, 2020 at 6:31 am
Jankovic doesn’t go into the details of the propulsion system of Osseo, saying only that it would also have diesel electric propulsion. “Osseo is a luxury performance yacht with exceptional ...
- Sailing Into Headwinds Using Transverse-Axis Magnus Rotoron October 5, 2020 at 11:05 pm
The stern mounted transverse rotor would be suitable wind-assisted propulsion for container ships ... and transverse-axis Flettner rotors remain silent, enhancing their desirability on passenger ...
- Tiny moonbound spacecraft have very big goalson October 5, 2020 at 4:16 am
The "H" in the probe's name is silent "because the hydrogen is hiding ... The probe has a miniaturized propulsion system, attitude control, power and communications systems to maneuver into ...
- One of First Females to Join the Silent Service: 'I'm Excited to See the Day When Women Being on Submarines is Not a Surprise to People.'on September 26, 2020 at 6:17 am
Her dad served in the Navy, working as a design engineer for Naval Reactors, which oversees the Navy's nuclear propulsion program ... making up about 5% of the silent service.
- Ionic Wind Powers Noiseless Flighton September 24, 2020 at 5:00 pm
The new design is completely silent. “This is the first-ever sustained flight of a plane with no moving parts in the propulsion system,” says Steven Barrett, associate professor of aeronautics and ...
- Inside AD ’s Ultimate Guide to the Best Design in Transporton September 24, 2020 at 2:31 pm
Fortunately, innovative manufacturers, both heritage and startups, are rising to the challenge and attempting to answer the question in novel ways, using lightweight materials and new propulsion ...
- The electric car hype machine: Why investors are more sceptical than everon September 21, 2020 at 10:02 pm
Sleek, silent and faintly sinister ... "Nikola never stated its truck was driving under its own propulsion in the video," a spokesman defiantly declared. "As Nikola pivoted to the next generation ...
The Latest Google Headlines on:
The Latest Bing News on:
- AIP Submarines Could Kill Nuclear Submarines’ Naval Dominanceon October 9, 2020 at 11:12 pm
Nuclear-powered submarines have traditionally held a decisive edge in endurance, stealth and speed over cheaper diesel submarines.
- Researchers built a robot squid that propels itself with a water jeton October 9, 2020 at 10:37 am
To help explore underwater environments without damaging coral or sea life, engineers from UC San Diego created a robot squid (via Hackster.io). Soft robots are less likely to harm aquatic life than ...
- Inspired by Squids, Researchers Develop 'Squidbot' to Probe Deeper Underwater Surfaceson October 8, 2020 at 6:33 am
Drawing inspiration from squids, a team of researchers have created an underwater robot which is capable of propelling ... 2020 This 'squidbot' uses jet propulsion to navigate the ocean ...
- Bizarre underwater ‘squidbot’ is a breakthrough in soft roboticson October 7, 2020 at 6:46 am
An underwater robot nicknamed ‘squidbot’ could form the basis for a new kind of underwater propulsion system. The deep-sea robot sucks water into an on-board pressure chamber and ejects it to move ...
- Watch an underwater robot mimic squidon October 7, 2020 at 6:37 am
Researchers at the University of California San Diego have created a squid-like robot that propels itself by producing jets of water, mimicking how squid swim. The so-called Squidbot is an untethered ...
- 'Squidbot' propels itself underwater by sucking water into a pressure chamber and ejecting iton October 6, 2020 at 2:12 pm
Engineers have designed a 'squidbot' that is capable of propelling itself underwater by creating jets. The untethered robot sucks water into a chamber and ejects it for rapid locomotion.
- The game of future survivalon September 27, 2020 at 5:00 pm
However, with the introduction of superior weapons and sensors, powerful combat suites, capability to launch special payloads like Unmanned Underwater Vehicles and Autonomous underwater vehicles ...
- Lithium Ion battery for submarines: the game of future survivalon September 25, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Autonomous underwater vehicle (AUVs), land attack capability, enhanced submerged autonomy rendered by the combination of Air Independent Propulsion system (AIP) and lithium ion battery (LiB); a ...
- Global Swimming Pool Underwater Lights Market Competitive Analysis, Business Ideas, Industry Growth, Shares and Trends 2020-2025on September 22, 2020 at 12:29 am
Global Swimming Pool Underwater Lights Market - Consumption ... Ospa Apparatebau Pauser GmbH, Maxillum, Propulsion Pools, AstralPool, Light Projects Group, Guangzhou Fenlin Swimming Pool and ...
- bouyancy engineon September 18, 2020 at 5:00 pm
He developed an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) which uses a buoyancy engine rather than propellers as its propulsion mechanism and made the entire project Open Source and Open Hardware.