Free-locomotion of underwater vehicles actuated by ionic polymer metal composites

Matteo Aureli, Vladislav Kopman, Maurizio Porfiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we develop a modeling framework for studying free-locomotion of biomimetic underwater vehicles propelled by vibrating ionic polymer metal composites (IPMCs). The motion of the vehicle body is described using rigid body dynamics in fluid environments. Hydrodynamic effects, such as added mass and damping, are included in the model to enable a thorough description of the vehicle's surge, sway, and yaw motions. The time-varying actions exerted by the vibrating IPMC on the vehicle body, including thrust, lift, and moment, are estimated by combining force and vibration measurements with reduced order modeling based on modal analysis. The model predictions are validated through experimental results on a miniature remotely controlled fish-like robotic swimmer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5272397
Pages (from-to)603-614
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Force measurement
  • hydrodynamics
  • intelligent actuators
  • underwater vehicle propulsion
  • underwater vehicles
  • vibrations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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