Bio-Inspiration in Underwater Robotics: A State-of-the-Art Review

Agus Budiyono, Ary Setijadi Prihatmanto, Bismo Jelantik Joyodiharjo


Underwater robotics has witnessed significant advancements through the integration of bio-inspiration, leveraging nature's design principles to enhance the capabilities and performance of underwater robots. This paper presents a comprehensive state-of-the-art review of bio-inspiration in underwater robotics, exploring the diverse range of bio-inspired approaches and their applications in this field. The review begins by introducing the concept of bio-inspiration and its relevance to underwater robotics, highlighting the benefits of mimicking nature's solutions in terms of efficiency, adaptability, and maneuverability. Subsequently, it delves into different aspects of bio-inspired underwater robotics, covering propulsion systems, sensory systems, materials, and locomotion. In the realm of propulsion, various bio-inspired mechanisms, such as fish-like fins, undulating flexible tails, and oscillating foils, are examined. These propulsion systems draw inspiration from aquatic animals, allowing underwater robots to achieve efficient and agile movement through water. Additionally, the review explores the utilization of biomimetic sensory systems that mimic the perception capabilities of marine organisms, enabling underwater robots to navigate, detect objects, and gather environmental data with enhanced accuracy and efficiency. The paper also discusses the integration of bio-inspired materials in underwater robotics, including flexible and soft materials that enable robots to adapt to complex underwater environments, mimic the deformability of marine organisms, and optimize hydrodynamic performance. Furthermore, it examines bio-inspired locomotion strategies, such as cephalopod-inspired jet propulsion and bio-mimetic legged locomotion, which offer novel approaches for underwater robots to traverse challenging terrains and perform complex tasks. The review concludes with an analysis of current challenges and future directions in the field of bio-inspired underwater robotics. These include the development of novel biomimetic designs, the integration of advanced control algorithms, and the exploration of multi-robot systems inspired by collective behaviors observed in marine organisms. By highlighting the state-of-the-art advancements and potential applications, this comprehensive review serves as a valuable resource for researchers, engineers, and practitioners in the field of underwater robotics, fostering further exploration and innovation in the exciting realm of bio-inspiration.


Biomimetic design, biomimetic sensing, biomimicry, marine robotics


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