Things can get very chaotic on the ocean floor, making it difficult for the inevitable underwater robots to be swept away. However, new research shows that by copying the structure of starfish, they can actually be pressed into place.
Starfish – or starfish – are often seen clinging to rock in rough tidal areas. The numerous suction cup pins on their underside certainly help keep them safe, but it turns out their body shape also plays an important role.
In tests performed at the University of Southern California’s Viterbi Technical School, starfish 3D-printed models were placed on the bottom of water tanks, then subjected to waves. It was noticed that their triangular wedge shape acted like a slope, causing water flowing in from the sides to be diverted upwards.
Dr. Mitul Luhar, head of research with graduate student Mark Hermes, said: “When the starfish pushes the flow away, the current creates an equal and opposite force pushing down the starfish. “A cone or sphere does not produce the same ‘ramp effect’, and therefore does not produce the same downforce.”
In fact, it was discovered that water later flowed onto one side of the conical or spherical dome down left, finally creating a lift effect. This is Not in the case of starfish, they maximize their shape advantage by flattening their bodies under strong currents.
For now, it is hoped that in the future, soft-bodied underwater robots can also change shape as required, temporarily taking on a flattened starfish-like appearance to withstand the extreme conditions.
“If we can take advantage of the surroundings instead of fighting it, we can create efficiency and increase efficiency,” Luhar says.
The research is described in an article published in the journal Scientific reports.
Source: USC Viterbi School of Engineering