The goal of this project is to produce structures capable of remotely powered self-locomotion suitable for miniaturization.

PSU Walking Structure

Shark Fin 1

Shark Fin 2

High Speed Flapping

Terrestrial and Aquatic Locomotion

This work focuses on using magnetic fields to actuate magneto-active elastomer structures to produce terrestrial or aquatic locomotion. The work is unique in that the devices are remotely powered externally by magnetic fields and may therefore be more easily used in situ. Currently, proof-of-concept prototypes for generating swimming thrust modeled after thunniform swimmers (sharks) as well as first- and second-generation terrestrial locomotion devices on a 100mm length scale have been fabricated. Proposed work includes designing, analyzing, fabricating and testing composite structures for locomotion in an oscillating magnetic field. In addition, fabrication methods amenable to miniaturization are being investigated.