Development of a Shape-Memory-Alloy Actuated Biomimetic Hydrofoil Academic Article uri icon


  • The development and testing of a biomimetic active hydrofoil that utilizes Shape-Memory-Alloy (SMA) actuator technology is presented. This work is the second stage in the development of a vehicle that has a skeletal structure similar to that of aquatic animals and SMA actuators for muscles. The current work describes the development and testing of a six-segment demonstration vehicle and the control schemes used. Each SMA actuation element consists of a thin wire that joins together two adjacent vertebrae segments of the hydrofoil skeleton and induces relative movement of one with respect to the other. Controlled heating and cooling of the wire sets generates bi-directional rotation of the vertebrae, which in turn causes a change in the shape of the hydrofoil. Each SMA wire is embedded in an elastic water channel that facilitatesfast active SMA cooling via forced water circulation. This hydrofoil was able to deform to several shapes mimicking aquatic animal swimming, with controlled oscillation frequencies of up to 1 Hz, with 1/2 Hz oscillation producing the largest body motion amplitudes.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Rediniotis, O. K., Wilson, L. N., Lagoudas, D. C., & Khan, M. M

citation count

  • 48

complete list of authors

  • Rediniotis, OK||Wilson, LN||Lagoudas, DC||Khan, MM

publication date

  • January 2002