Magnetic-field-induced propulsion of jellyfish-inspired soft robotic swimmers

R. Pramanik, R. W. C. P. Verstappen, P. R. Onck*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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The multifaceted appearance of soft robots in the form of swimmers, catheters, surgical devices, and drug-carrier vehicles in biomedical and microfluidic applications is ubiquitous today. Jellyfish-inspired soft robotic swimmers (jellyfishbots) have been fabricated and experimentally characterized by several researchers that reported their swimming kinematics and multimodal locomotion. However, the underlying physical mechanisms that govern magnetic-field-induced propulsion are not yet fully understood. Here, we use a robust and efficient computational framework to study the jellyfishbot swimming kinematics and the induced flow field dynamics through numerical simulation. We consider a two-dimensional model jellyfishbot that has flexible lappets, which are symmetric about the jellyfishbot center. These lappets exhibit flexural deformation when subjected to external magnetic fields to displace the surrounding fluid, thereby generating the thrust required for propulsion. We perform a parametric sweep to explore the jellyfishbot kinematic performance for different system parameters—structural, fluidic, and magnetic. In jellyfishbots, the soft magnetic composite elastomeric lappets exhibit temporal and spatial asymmetries when subjected to unsteady external magnetic fields. The average speed is observed to be dependent on both these asymmetries, quantified by the glide magnitude and the net area swept by the lappet tips per swimming cycle, respectively. We observe that a judicious choice of the applied magnetic field and remnant magnetization profile in the jellyfishbot lappets enhances both these asymmetries. Furthermore, the dependence of the jellyfishbot swimming speed upon the net area swept (spatial asymmetry) is twice as high as the dependence of speed on the glide ratio (temporal asymmetry). Finally, functional relationships between the swimming speed and different kinematic parameters and nondimensional numbers are developed. Our results provide guidelines for the design of improved jellyfish-inspired magnetic soft robotic swimmers.
Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's18
TijdschriftPhysical Review E
StatusPublished - 18-jan.-2023

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