Corpus ID: 117645494

Exquisitely sensitive seal whisker-like sensors detect wakes at large distances

  title={Exquisitely sensitive seal whisker-like sensors detect wakes at large distances},
  author={Heather R. Beem and Michael S. Triantafyllou},
  journal={arXiv: Fluid Dynamics},
Blindfolded harbor seals are able to use their uniquely shaped whiskers to track vortex wakes left by moving animals and objects that passed by up to 30 seconds earlier; this is an impressive feat as the flow features they detect may have velocity as low as 1 mm/s, and the seals have some capacity to identify the shape of the object as well. They do so while swimming forward at high speed, hence their whiskers are sensitive enough to detect small-scale changes in the external flow field, while… Expand
6 Citations
Biomechanics in Soft Mechanical Sensing: From Natural Case Studies to the Artificial World
The aim is to make a step towards creating a toolbox with general tailoring principles, based on mechanical aspects tuned repeatedly in nature, such as orientation, shape, distribution, materials, and micromechanics, which should be used for a future methodical design of novel soft sensing systems for soft robotics. Expand
Sensing on Robots Inspired by Nature
This chapter describes a harbor seal-inspired whisker sensor, an octopus- inspired robot, a stingray-inspired robot and autonomous robots with biomimetic sensors developed at Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology Centre. Expand
Biomimetic Microsensors Inspired by Marine Life
This book narrates the development of various biomimetic microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensors, such as pressure, flow, acceleration, chemical, and tactile sensors, that are inspired byExpand
Biomimetic survival hydrodynamics and flow sensing
The fluid mechanics employed by aquatic animals in their escape or attack maneuvers, what we call survival hydrodynamics, are fascinating because the recorded performance in animals is trulyExpand


Passive wake detection using seal whisker-inspired sensing
Abstract : This thesis is motivated by biological experiments, which display the harbor seal's ability to track the wake of an object several seconds after it swam by. In this work, I elucidate theExpand
Wake flow behaviour behind a smaller cylinder oscillating in the wake of an upstream stationary cylinder
The flow patterns around a cylinder oscillating freely in the wake of a larger cylinder upstream were investigated using the particle image velocimetry technique. The upstream cylinder was fixed atExpand
The role of wake stiffness on the wake-induced vibration of the downstream cylinder of a tandem pair
Abstract When a pair of tandem cylinders is immersed in a flow the downstream cylinder can be excited into wake-induced vibrations (WIV) due to the interaction with vortices coming from the upstreamExpand
Vibrissal touch sensing in the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina): how do seals judge size?
Data from this study supports the suggestion that it is the number of whisker contacts that predict disk size, rather than how the whiskers are positioned, the degree to which they are moved (amplitude) or how spread out they are (angular spread). Expand
Hydrodynamic discrimination of wakes caused by objects of different size or shape in a harbour seal (Phoca vitulina)
The ability of a harbour seal to discriminate objects of different size or shape by their hydrodynamic signature is investigated and particle image velocimetry is used to identify the hydrod dynamic parameters that a seal may be using to do so. Expand
Harbor seal vibrissa morphology suppresses vortex-induced vibrations
Using force measurements, flow measurements and numerical simulations, it is found that the dynamic forces on harbor seal whiskers are, by at least an order of magnitude, lower than those on sea lion whiskers, which do not share the undulated structure. Expand
Hydrodynamic determination of the moving direction of an artificial fin by a harbour seal (Phoca vitulina)
The maximum time after which a harbour seal could indicate the moving direction of an artificial fish tail is determined and the hydrodynamic parameters allowing the discrimination are analysed. Expand
On the wake-induced vibration of tandem circular cylinders: the vortex interaction excitation mechanism
The mechanism of wake-induced vibrations (WIV) of a pair of cylinders in a tandem arrangement is investigated by experiments. A typical WIV response is characterized by a build-up of amplitudeExpand
Effects of wavelength and amplitude of a wavy cylinder in cross-flow at low Reynolds numbers
Three-dimensional numerical simulations of laminar flow around a circular cylinder with sinusoidal variation of cross-section along the spanwise direction, named ‘wavy cylinder’, are performed. AExpand
Experimental investigation on wake behind a wavy cylinder having sinusoidal cross-sectional area variation
Turbulent wake behind a cylinder having sinusoidal variation in cross sectional area along the span is investigated experimentally. The drag force, mean velocity and turbulence intensity profiles ofExpand