Swimming of Untethered Bio-Inspired Micro-Robots in Circular Channels
Ahmet Fatih Tabak
PhD Candidate, Mechatronics Engineering, Sabanci University
Autonomous robots in micro and nano-scales are depicted in science-fiction novels and motion-pictures for over 40 years. Research on untethered micro-swimming robots is growing fast owing to their potential impact on minimally invasive medical procedures. Modeling and control of these robots are important for demanding medical applications such as retina repair. Bio-inspired propulsion methods emerge as realistic substitutes for hydrodynamic thrust generation in micro realm. Accurate modeling, power supply, and propulsion-means directly affect microrobot’s mobility and maneuverability. In this work, experiments are carried out with a cm-scale biomimetic swimming robot, which consists of an on-board powered body and a rigid helical tail, mimicking typical eukaryotic micro organisms inside circular channels filled with viscous fluids. Fast and high fidelity surrogate models, based on fluid and rigid-body kinematics, are implemented to predict the swimming speeds in real-time, which are then compared with experimentally measured values and CFD-models. Furthermore, hydrodynamic interaction between the swimming robot’s body and helical tail are quantified with CFD-models in order to improve the time-dependent performance of the kinematic model.
Ahmet Fatih Tabak received his BSc degree in mechatronics engineering from Sabanci University, in 2005. He completed his MSc degree in electrical engineering and computer science program, under supervision of Dr. Serhat Yeşilyurt at Sabanci University, in 2007. The same year, he received “Gürsel Sönmez Research Award” for his MSc thesis titled “Simulation Based Experiments of Travelling-Plane-Wave-Actuator Micropumps and Microswimmers”. Currently, he is continuing his PhD research, focused on bacteria-like swimming robots in channels, in mechatronics engineering program at Sabanci University.