Design and Development of Modular Magnetic BioInspired Autonomous Underwater Robot – MMBAUV

Marvin Wright, Qing Xiao, Saishuai Dai, Mark Andrew Post, Hong Yue, Bodhi Sarkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes the design and construction of a magnetically coupled modular bio-inspired underwater robot named the Modular Magnetic Bio-Inspired Underwater Vehicle (MMBAUV). Designed to form a traveling wave to mimic efficient Body Caudal Fin (BCF) swimming and manoeuvring, its modularity allows for flexible system setup and offers an opportunity for redundancy and cost reduction through a common design structure. The specific feature of this design presents a novel application of a permanent synchronous magnetic coupling between neighbouring modules with a rotational degree of freedom (DoF). The actuated magnetic coupling provides a reliable and low maintenance solution to the fundamental issues of water tightness of flexible underwater structures. When encountering
extreme conditions, the magnetic coupling allows the safe decoupling of the modules increasing the survivability of the robotic system. Presented lab testing results demonstrate the function of the design and provide initial evidence of its thrust generation and manoeuvrability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113968
Number of pages12
JournalOcean Engineering
Early online date23 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023

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