The fish’s unique way of swimming could improve deep-sea vehicles’ agility and fuel efficiency
Stingrays swim through water with such ease that researchers from the University at Buffalo and Harvard University are studying how their movements could be used to design more agile and fuel-efficient unmanned underwater vehicles.
The vehicles could allow researchers to more efficiently study the mostly unexplored ocean depths, and they could also serve during clean up or rescue efforts.
“Most fish wag their tails to swim. A stingray’s swimming is much more unique, like a flag in the wind,” says Richard Bottom, a UB mechanical engineering graduate student participating in the research.
Bottom and Iman Borazjani, UB assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, set out to investigate the form-function relationship of the stingray — why it looks the way it does and what it gets from moving the way it does.
They will explain their findings at the 66th Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics. Their lecture, “Biofluids: Locomotion III – Flying,” is at 4:45 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24, in Pittsburgh, Pa.
The researchers used computational fluid dynamics, which employs algorithms to solve problems that involve fluid flows, to map the flow of water and the vortices around live stingrays.
The study is believed to be the first time the leading-edge vortex, the vortex at the front of an object in motion, has been studied in underwater locomotion, says Borazjani. The leading-edge vortex has been observed in the flight of birds and insects, and is one of the most important thrust enhancement mechanics in insect flight.
The vortices on the waves of the stingrays’ bodies cause favorable pressure fields — low pressure on the front and high pressure on the back — which push the ray forward. Because movement through air and water are similar, understanding vortices are critical.
“By looking at nature, we can learn from it and come up with new designs for cars, planes and submarines,” says Borazjani. “But we’re not just mimicking nature. We want to understand the underlying physics for future use in engineering or central designs.”
Studies have already proven that stingray motion closely resembles the most optimal swimming gait, says Bottom. Much of this is due to the stingray’s unique flat and round shape, which allows them to easily glide through water.
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- This speedy, tiny soft robot was inspired by the way a cheetah runson May 12, 2020 at 10:34 am
“The breakthrough of this work is that it makes soft robots capable of galloping like a cheetah to achieve high-speed locomotion, which is about 3 times faster than the reported fastest soft ...
- Gecko’s soft hairy toes reorient to help it stick to different types of surfaceson May 11, 2020 at 9:56 am
The diminutive gecko is capable of some extraordinary feats of locomotion, zipping along vertical walls with ease and even running short distances across water. Precisely how they accomplish these ...
- An Interview With Alex Williams, Grand Prize Winneron May 7, 2020 at 5:00 pm
He developed an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV ... Since it doesn’t use active locomotion it can do its job unattended for days at a time. Two fixed fins on the glider convert downward ...
- Leveraging elastic instabilities for amplified performance: Spine-inspired high-speed and high-force soft robotson May 7, 2020 at 5:00 pm
We demonstrate this generic design principle with three high-performance soft machines: High-speed cheetah-like galloping crawlers with locomotion speeds of 2.68 body length/s, high-speed underwater ...
- Meet Patrick, Carnegie Mellon's new SpongeBob-inspired robotic starfishon April 23, 2020 at 3:09 pm
Carnegie Mellon's bio-inspired robot is the first untethered underwater crawling soft robot as described ... especially when considering the advanced function of locomotion. Video of Brittle Star ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Tissue-Engineered Soft Robot Swims Like A Stingrayon May 31, 2020 at 5:00 pm
The cardiomyocytes provide the contractile force, and the pattern in which they are applied to the 1/2″ (1.25cm) body allows for the familiar undulating motion of a stingray’s wings.
- Alfred Dunhill Stingray Skin Accessorieson May 31, 2020 at 5:00 pm
It was introduced in Europe in the court of Louis XV and was later important in the Art Deco movement. Stingrays are not considered endangered or threatened. The hides come as by-products of fishing ...
- Prehistoric Stingray from 500 million years ago discovered in huge scientific breakthroughon May 31, 2020 at 3:56 am
THE discovery of a prehistoric "Stingray" which lived thousands of years before the first dinosaur reveals the origins as to how vertebrates developed, Express.co.uk can reveal.
- I drove the fastest Jaguar sports car in the world — and it was incredibleon May 21, 2020 at 5:00 pm
2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR. The Jaguar F-Type is one of the my favorite cars in the world. In fact, I like the F-Type so much that I nearly swayed Senior Correspondent Matt DeBord into handing the Jag ...
- The Globe and Mailon May 13, 2020 at 5:00 pm
All market data (will open in new tab) is provided by Barchart Solutions. Copyright © 2020. Information is provided 'as is' and solely for informational purposes ...