Design and build a bio-inspired AUV
Can cuttlefish improve underwater vehicle design?
Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) are used for a variety of exploration and data gathering missions by research and defence organisations. Unfortunately, current AUVs are limited by their range and inability to navigate complex environments. By seeking inspiration from nature, we aim to leverage years of evolution to design and build a biologically inspired AUV.
Our solution uses a movement system inspired by the fins of the cuttlefish, a creature that efficiently traverses intricate environments. Manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing helped us rapidly prototype our design. Our craft uses motors to move arms connected to a flexible membrane to create a wave-like pattern. This motion generates thrust in a method that is identical to a cuttlefish. An infrared obstacle avoidance system further allows our vehicle to avoid collisions and operate with a degree of autonomy.