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A Novel Propeller Design for Micro-Swimming robot

YUAN, Fei (2020) A Novel Propeller Design for Micro-Swimming robot. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Abstract or description

The applications of a micro-swimming robot such as minimally invasive surgery, liquid pipeline robot etc. are widespread in recent years. The potential application fields are so inspiring, and it is becoming more and more achievable with the development of microbiology and Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS). The aim of this study is to improve the performance of micro-swimming robot through redesign the structure.

To achieve the aim, this study reviewed all of the modelling methods of low Reynolds number flow including Resistive-force Theory (RFT), Slender Body Theory (SBT), and Immersed Boundary Method (IBM) etc. The swimming model with these methods has been analysed. Various aspects e.g. hydrodynamic interaction, design, development, optimisation and numerical methods from the previous researches have been studied.

Based on the previous design of helix propeller for micro-swimmer, this study has proposed a novel propeller design for a micro-swimming robot which can improve the velocity with simplified propulsion structure. This design has adapted the coaxial symmetric double helix to improve the performance of propulsion and to increase stability. The central lines of two helical tails overlap completely to form a double helix structure, and its tail radial force is balanced with the same direction and can produce a stable axial motion.

The verification of this design is conducted using two case studies. The first one is a pipe inspection robot which is in mm scale and swims in high viscosity flow that satisfies the low Reynolds number flow condition. Both simulation and experiment analysis are conducted for this case study. A cross-development method is adopted for the simulation analysis and prototype development. The experiment conditions are set up based on the simulation conditions. The conclusion from the analysis of simulation results gives suggestions to improve design and fabrication for the prototype. Some five revisions of simulation and four revisions of the prototype have been completed. The second case study is the human blood vessel robot. For the limitations of fabrication technology, only simulation is conducted, and the result is compared with previous researches. The results show that the proposed propeller design can improve velocity performance significantly.

The main outcomes of this study are the design of a micro-swimming robot with higher velocity performance and the validation from both simulation and experiment.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty: School of Computing and Digital Technologies > Computing
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2020 13:23
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2020 13:23
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/6460

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