Bioinspired propulsion mechanisms based on manta ray locomotion

Keith W. Moored, Peter A. Dewey, Megan C. Leftwich, Hilary Bart-Smith, Alexander J. Smits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Mobuliform swimmers are inspiring novel approaches to the design of underwater vehicles. These swimmers, exemplified by manta rays, present a model for new classes of efficient, highly maneuverable, autonomous undersea vehicles. To improve our understanding of the unsteady propulsion mechanisms used by these swimmers, we report detailed studies of the performance of robotic swimmers that mimic aspects of the animal propulsive mechanisms. We highlight the importance of the undulatory aspect of producing efficientmanta ray propulsion and show that there is a strong interaction between the propulsive performance and the flexibility of the actuating surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-118
Number of pages9
JournalMarine Technology Society Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Ocean Engineering


  • Flexible actuators
  • Manta ray
  • Mobuliform
  • Swimming
  • Unsteady


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