P15029: Air Muscle Underwater Fish Phase 2 - Buoyancy

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Project Statement

Soft hydraulic actuators have great potential use in underwater robotic applications, specifically, the development and use of a hydraulic fish for exploration, surveillance, recovery efforts, or research purposes. Recent development has produced a soft body robotic fish that mimics body caudal fin locomotion. However, the current prototype is unable to properly swim and dive, while only being able to function at the surface of the water. In addition, the remote communications and autonomous nature of the current underwater fish, although functional, leaves room for improvement. The nature of the application of the fish also required aesthetic qualities that reflect those of a natural fish.

Future development of the project reflects the necessity to improve remote communications, add active buoyancy control, and prevent leakage, while taking into account aesthetic improvements. The capability to move forward and turn in a depth of 3 feet of water is another major priority. These progressions must not influence the success of the utilization of the flexible muscles for propulsion or body caudal fin locomotion. The expected end result is a functional prototype, which can be utilized for the various aforementioned underwater applications, while providing thorough documentation for future endeavors.

The Project Statement can also be seen here.

Customer Requirements

The Customer Needs can also be seen here.


Initial Interviews

Use Scenarios

The Use Scenarios can be seen here.

Engineering Requirements

The Engineering Requirements can also be seen here.

House of Quality

The House of Quality can also be seen here.


Week 3 Review Presentation

Our Review Presentation for the end of week 3 can be viewed here or downloaded here.

The Takeaways from this Review can be seen here.

Table of Contents MSD I

Problem Definition Systems Design Subsystems Design Detailed Design

Project Statement

Customer Requirements

Engineering Requirements

House of Quality


Week 3 Review Presentation

Functional Decomposition

Morphological Chart


Concept Development

Systems Architecture


Risk Assessment

Systems Design Review

Electrical Subsystems

Buoyancy Subsystem

Tail Structure

Full Skeletal Structure

Air Muscles



Subsystems Design Review

Design Overview

Drawings and Models

Electronic Schematics

PCB Layouts

Signal Flow Charts

Testing and Prototyping

Risk Assessment

Bill of Materials


Design Review Presentations

Home | Planning & Execution