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A Wirelessly  Controlled Shape-Memory Alloy-Based Bistable Metal Swimming Device
  • Yu Wan,
  • Keith Cuff,
  • Michael J. Serpe
Yu Wan

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Keith Cuff
Michael J. Serpe


Shape memory Nitinol has long been used for actuation. However, utilizing Nitinol to fabricate novel devices for various applications is a challenge, but has shown incredible promise and impacts. Bistable metal strips are widely adopted for shape morphing purposes (primarily in kid’s toys, e.g., snap bracelets) due to their easy and robust transformation between two states. In this paper, we combine Nitinol shape memory alloy and bistable metal strip to fabricate a swimming actuator with both slow moving and fast snapping capability, akin to an octopus swimming slowly in water, but quickly moving upon encountering a threat. The actuator developed here can also swim in multiple directions, all controlled by a wireless module. Furthermore, we demonstrate that an on-board sensor can be incorporated for potential environmental monitoring applications. Taken together, along with the fact that the device developed here has no mechanical parts, makes this  an interesting potential alternative to more expensive, and energy consuming boats.
11 Jan 2022Submitted to AISY Interactive Papers
12 Jan 2022Published in AISY Interactive Papers
May 2022Published in Advanced Intelligent Systems volume 4 issue 5 on pages 2100251. 10.1002/aisy.202100251