Biomimetics and Bioinspired Robotics

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Cyborg and Bionic Systems is pleased to share a collection of Biomimetics and Bioinspired Robotics articles. As always with the Science Partner Journals, all content is free to access.

Table of Contents

A Cyborg Insect Reveals a Function of a Muscle in Free Flight

T. Thang Vo-Doan, V. Than Dung, Hirotaka Sato
Cyborg and Bionic Systems, vol. 2022, Article ID 9780504, 11 pages, 04 May 2022

Abstract: While engineers put lots of effort, resources, and time in building insect scale micro aerial vehicles (MAVs) that fly like insects, insects themselves are the real masters of flight. What if we would use living insect as platform for MAV instead? Here, we reported a flight control via electrical stimulation of a flight muscle of an insect-computer hybrid robot, which is the interface of a mountable wireless backpack controller and a living beetle. The beetle uses indirect flight muscles to drive wing flapping and three major direct flight muscles (basalar, subalar, and third axilliary (3Ax) muscles) to control the kinematics of the wings for flight maneuver. While turning control was already achieved by stimulating basalar and 3Ax muscles, electrical stimulation of subalar muscles resulted in braking and elevation control in flight. We also demonstrated around 20 degrees of contralateral yaw and roll by stimulating individual subalar muscle. Stimulating both subalar muscles lead to an increase of 20 degrees in pitch and decelerate the flight by 1.5 m/s2 as well as an induce in elevation of 2 m/s2.


A Manta Ray-Inspired Biosyncretic Robot with Stable Controllability by Dynamic Electric Stimulation

Chuang Zhang, Yiwei Zhang, Wenxue Wang, Ning Xi, Lianqing Liu
Cyborg and Bionic Systems, vol. 2022, Article ID 9891380, 13 pages, 06 Jul 2022

Abstract: Biosyncretic robots, which are new nature-based robots in addition to bionic robots, that utilize biological materials to realize their core function, have been supposed to further promote the progress in robotics. Actuation as the main operation mechanism relates to the robotic overall performance. Therefore, biosyncretic robots actuated by living biological actuators have attracted increasing attention. However, innovative propelling modes and control methods are still necessary for the further development of controllable motion performance of biosyncretic robots. In this work, a muscle tissue-based biosyncretic swimmer with a manta ray-inspired propelling mode has been developed. What is more, to improve the stable controllability of the biosyncretic swimmer, a dynamic control method based on circularly distributed multiple electrodes (CDME) has been proposed. In this method, the direction of the electric field generated by the CDME could be real-time controlled to be parallel with the actuation tissue of the dynamic swimmer. Therefore, the instability of the tissue actuation induced by the dynamic included angle between the tissue axis and electric field direction could be eliminated. Finally, the biosyncretic robot has demonstrated stable, controllable, and effective swimming, by adjusting the electric stimulation pulse direction, amplitude, and frequency. This work may be beneficial for not only the development of biosyncretic robots but also other related studies including bionic design of soft robots and muscle tissue engineering.


Hydrodynamic Modeling and Parameter Identification of a Bionic Underwater Vehicle: RobDact

Qiyuan Cao, Rui Wang, Tiandong Zhang, Yu Wang, Shuo Wang
Cyborg and Bionic Systems, vol. 2022, Article ID 9806328, 13 pages, 31 May 2022

Abstract: In this paper, the hydrodynamic modeling and parameter identification of the RobDact, a bionic underwater vehicle inspired by Dactylopteridae, are carried out based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and force measurement experiment. Firstly, the paper briefly describes the RobDact, then establishes the kinematics model and rigid body dynamics model of the RobDact according to the hydrodynamic force and moment equations. Through CFD simulations, the hydrodynamic force of the RobDact at different speeds is obtained, and then, the hydrodynamic model parameters are identified. Furthermore, the measurement platform is developed to obtain the relationship between the thrust generated by the RobDact and the input fluctuation parameters. Finally, by combining the rigid body dynamics model and the fin thrust mapping model, the hydrodynamic model of the RobDact at different motion states is constructed.


Experimental Verification on Steering Flight of Honeybee by Electrical Stimulation

Li Yu, Jieliang Zhao, Zhiyun Ma, Wenzhong Wang, Shaoze Yan, Yue Jin, Yu Fang
Cyborg and Bionic Systems, vol. 2022, Article ID 9895837, 12 pages, 21 Jul 2022

Abstract: The artificial locomotion control strategy is the fundamental technique to ensure the accomplishment of the preset assignments for cyborg insects. The existing research has recognized that the electrical stimulation applied to the optic lobes was an appropriate flight control strategy for small insects represented by honeybee. This control technique has been confirmed to be effective for honeybee flight initiation and cessation. However, its regulation effect on steering locomotion has not been fully verified. Here, we investigated the steering control effect of honeybee by applying electrical stimulation signals with different duty cycles and frequencies on the unilateral optic lobes and screened the stimulus parameters with the highest response successful rate. Moreover, we confirmed the effectiveness of steering control by verifying the presence of rotation torque on tethered honeybees and the body orientation change of crawling honeybees. Our study will contribute some reliable parameter references to the motion control of cyborg honeybees.