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Tuna fin hydraulics inspire aquatic robotics

The shape-changing fins of fish are of great interest to engineers developing the locomotion and maneuvering capabilities of underwater and aerial systems. On page 310 of this issue, Pavlov et al. ( 1 ) find that the lymphatic circulatory system in tuna and other members of the Scombridae family of fish serves as a hydraulic system that actively changes the sweep angle of their second dorsal (back) and anal (underside) fins. This is an important finding because sweep-angle changes alter fin erectness and thereby affect the lift-force capacity of the fin. Such changes are used consistently during maneuvering and transient motion, especially for sharp turns.

Authors:   Michael S. Triantafyllou
Journal:   Science
Volume:   357
edition:   6348
Year:   2017
Pages:   251
DOI:   10.1126/science.aan8354
Publication date:   21-Jul-2017
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