RCUE Hybrid Punting Locomotion
- Matt Perkins
- Nicole Marone
The goal of this vehicle is to test a new type of hybrid near bottom locomotion inspired by the little skate, Leucoraja erinacea, pictured below. The little skate glides across the sea floor using leg like appendages to punt itself forward maintaining its position over the ground. When necessary, it can swim up and over obstacles using ray-like propulsion.
An unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) that can duplicate this hybrid locomotion style would be able to reap the advantages of near-bottom travel - including reduced ambient flow speed, access to navigation through landmarks and visual speed-over-ground measurement, and the design freedom to be negatively buoyant - without concerns about being hung up on or stuck on bottom lying obstacles.