Adaptation of Batoid-like Propulsion to AUVs and its Performance Analysis

Vinothkumar Viswanathan, Hongchuan Jiang, Jun Hao Alvin Ng, Geok Hoon Ng, Zhan Ke Ng, Hoe Eng Ken Teo, and Pablo Valdivia Y. Alvarado


Bio-inspired AUV, under-actuated batoid fin, flapping fin propulsion, variable ballast, inverted-von-Karman wake


This paper presents the design of a hybrid bio-inspired vehicle capable of 3-D underwater locomotion. The hybrid vehicle consists of a rigid hull with large payload capacity, and large flexible and under-actuated pectoral fins for propulsion. A closed-loop controller is designed for heading and maneuvering control. Free swimming experiments, flow visualization, and numerical analysis are used to characterize the vehicle’s locomotion performance (maneuverability, propulsive, and turning efficiencies) and identify major trade-offs of maintaining a large capacity hull in bio-inspired locomotion.

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