IIT-Indore research team designs smart underwater robot
In a development that could aid security forces keep vigil on the waters, a team of researchers from Indian Institute of Technology, Indore (IIT-I), has designed a smart material based robot that can probe underwater conditions and can also be used for surveillance.
“Dr IA Palani with his research group at IIT-Indore has developed the robot,” told Nirmala Menon, media in-charge of IIT-Indore.
The team has designed a bio-mimetic shape memory alloy actuated underwater robots.
The project is funded under Promotion of Research/Innovation for Undergraduate Student (PRIUS) scheme of the institute.
The aim of this project is to bio-mimick the wavy motion of a fish. The robot will mimic fish movements in water. The robot is designed in a way that allows it to float just below the surface of water.
Menon, told media, that "The skeleton of the robot fish is designed using CAD and the final prototype is 3D printed. SMA springs were chosen as actuators and it acts as a dynamic rib in the skeletal structures."
Both the skin and the caudal fin of the robot is made at IIT-I using photopolymer, which was brought back to desired shape by UV rays
Talking about the posterior end of the fish, it is made with a thin skin of soft polymer.
Along with this, the group led by Dr I A Palani is also making smart material based micro- devices.
This project has been initiated in by Volvo Eicher, MHRD and IIT Indore for waste heat recovery from the automobile engine using SMA bi-morph.
The post graduate students at IIT-Indore are the part of a team involved in developing several other SMA actuated micro devices, which include micro-valves for drug delivery and SMA actuated Stewart platform for Opto-Mechatronics device.
The research group is also working in developing the shape memory alloy integrated glass fiber reinforced composite flapper for missiles.
The project, which has been undertaken in collaboration with Defense Research Development Organisation (DRDO), will be helpful in precisely controlling the orientation of missiles.