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Swimming microbots: Dissipation, optimal stroke and scaling

Summary: Swimming microbots: Dissipation, optimal
stroke and scaling
J.E. Avron1
, O. Gat2
, and O. Kenneth1
Department of Physics, Technion, Haifa 32000, Israel
Department of Electrical Engineering, Technion, Haifa, 32000, Israel
March 25, 2004
Micron size robots which swim at macroscopic speeds need much
more power for locomotion than organisms of similar size. This makes
power optimization important. We formulate a notion of optimal
swimming which allows us to find optimal strokes. A central role
is played by a dimensionless quality factor, the swimming drag coef-
ficient, which we introduce. This allows us to derive general scaling
relations, showing for example that the maximal speed of an exter-
nally powered robot is proportional to the square root of its length.
We test these ideas on a soluble model of a two dimensional swimmer


Source: Avron, Joseph - Physics Department, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology


Collections: Physics