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Sensors 2019, 19(2), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19020259

Hydrodynamic Analysis-Based Modeling and Experimental Verification of a New Water-Jet Thruster for an Amphibious Spherical Robot

1
Key Laboratory of Convergence Medical Engineering System and Healthcare Technology, The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China
2
Faculty of Engineering, Kagawa University, 2217-20 Hayashicho, Takamatsu, Kagawa 761-0396, Japan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 November 2018 / Revised: 6 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 10 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

Thrusters are the bottom actuators of the amphibious spherical robot, and play an important role in the motion control of these robots. To realize accurate motion control, a thrust model for a new water-jet thruster based on hydrodynamic analyses is proposed in this paper. First, the hydrodynamic characteristics of the new thruster were numerically analyzed using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) commercial software CFX. The moving reference frame (MRF) technique was utilized to simulate propeller rotation. In particular, the hydrodynamics of the thruster were studied not only in the axial flow but also in oblique flow. Then, the basic framework of the thrust model was built according to hydromechanics theory. Parameters in the basic framework were identified through the results of the hydrodynamic simulation. Finally, a series of relevant experiments were conducted to verify the accuracy of the thrust model. These proved that the thrust model-based simulation results agreed well with the experimental results. The maximum error between the experimental results and simulation results was only 7%, which indicates that the thrust model is precise enough to be utilized in the motion control of amphibious spherical robots. View Full-Text
Keywords: amphibious spherical robot; water-jet thruster; thrust; hydrodynamic analysis; thrust model; Computation Fluid Dynamic (CFD) amphibious spherical robot; water-jet thruster; thrust; hydrodynamic analysis; thrust model; Computation Fluid Dynamic (CFD)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Hou, X.; Guo, S.; Shi, L.; Xing, H.; Liu, Y.; Liu, H.; Hu, Y.; Xia, D.; Li, Z. Hydrodynamic Analysis-Based Modeling and Experimental Verification of a New Water-Jet Thruster for an Amphibious Spherical Robot. Sensors 2019, 19, 259.

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