Controlling of the swimming in a granular bed


Takashi Shimada (The University of Tokyo)


How an object which makes a self propelling motion in a certain medium moves has attracted broad interest. Focusing on the resulting velocity and the energy efficiency, we have discovered that this "swimming problem" can be more complex when the surrounding media is a granular bed. In this presentation we report our recent study seeking the optimum way to control the direction of the swimming. To obtain the basic understanding, we keep the shape of swimmer very simple: it consists of three spheres connected in sequence (as o-o-o). From systematic analysis using three-dimensional MD simulations, we find that there exist the optimum shape (in terms of the angle between the two bonds and the sizes of the spheres) for turning, while the direction of turning can be opposite for certain shape. I will discuss the mechanism of having such behaviors.

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