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On the self-propulsion of an N-sphere micro-robot

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JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
DateE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jan 2013
DatePublished (current) - Feb 2013
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)R11-R111
Early online date28/01/13
Original languageEnglish


The aim of this paper is to describe the self-propulsion of a micro-robot (or micro-swimmer) consisting of N spheres moving along a fixed line. The spheres are linked to each other by arms with their lengths changing periodically. We use the asymptotic procedure containing the two-timing method and a distinguished limit. We show that self-propulsion velocity appears (in the main approximation) as a linear combination of velocities of all possible triplets of spheres. Velocities and efficiencies of three-, four- and five-sphere swimmers are calculated.

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