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Haibo Dong - Design of bio-inspired flying/swimming robots

Science & Engineering
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Supervising Faculty Member: 
Haibo Dong
Research Focus: 

Some fish travel at amazing speeds but can also turn virtually on a dime! What role does body and fin flexibility play in swimming? The dragonfly can fly forwards, backwards and sideways, and can also hover in place, all with relative ease. What is the aerodynamic design of the wings and the wing motion that allows the dragonfly to accomplish these amazing feats? These and other related questions have become central to the development of bio-inspired autonomous underwater vehicles (BAUVs) and micro air vehicles (MAVs) which are tiny (<6”) flying drones. These machines are envisioned to be used for missions including surveillance, environment monitoring and disaster search. We are using an integrated experimental and computational method to study live animal swimming and flying towards the understanding of the physics and science of flying and swimming in nature and the design of flying and swimming robots.

Position Description: 

From this project, students will learn the fundamentals of flapping flight and swimming. In addition, the students will learn basic skills in modeling, and flow simulation and visualization. The students are expected to present their work progress in group meetings and write reports of research results. Specific tasks include 3D modeling and reconstruction of high-speed images of flying dragonfly and swimming tuna in using 3D modeling software, Autodesk Maya®. Extensive kinematic analysis will be performed using in-house pre-processing codes. Numerical simulations of the flight sequences will be performed using an in-house computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solver and analysis of the results will be done in Tecplot® etc.

Required Skills: 

Applicants should have strong interests to learn new knowledge and techniques in bio-fluid dynamics. Experience in using CAD or similar software.

Standard safety training in engineering program
What will you learn: 

The students will learn basic skills in engineering design, modeling, and flow simulation and visualization. Research results will be presented in conference and considered for a journal paper.

bio-inspiration, fluid dynamics, animal swimming and flying, design of bio-inspired flying/swimming robots