Publication Detail

Soft polymer membrane micro-sensor arrays inspired by the mechanosensory lateral line on the blind cavefish

Ajay G.P. Kottapalli, Mohsen Asadnia, Jianmin Miao, Michael Triantafyllou
10 pp.
MITSG 14-10

This article reports the development of flexible arrays of soft membrane microelectromechanical system pressure sensors that are inspired by the functional implications of the lateral line organ present in the blind cavefish. Being blind, this fish relies on the lateral line of pressure gradient sensors present on its body to sense the surrounding obstacles. A flexible, low-powered, lightweight, sensitive yet robust microelectromechanical system sensor array is fabricated using liquid crystal polymer material. Such arrays can guide an autonomous underwater vehicle to navigate in unsteady and dirtywater environments. The object detection abilities of the blind cave characin fish are investigated through proof-ofconcept experiments conducted on the live fish. Similarly, the abilities of the microelectromechanical system array in determining the velocity and distance of an underwater object are investigated by testing them in water tunnel. Experimental results demonstrate the array’s ability to detect the velocity of moving underwater objects with a high accuracy and an average error of only 2.5%.

type: Journal, book, proceeding reprints

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Parent Project

Project No.: 2011-R/RCM-30
Title: Energy Efficient AUV using a Lateral Line Sensor