This paper presents a robot tadpole which is actuated by a novel biomimetic wire-driven flapping propulsor. The propulsor has a 12-vertebra serpentine backbone and each pair of adjacent vertebras forms a spherical joint. The vertebras are divided into two groups and each group is controlled by a set of wires. By controlling the two sets of wires, the propulsor can generate oscillatory motion (C-Motion) and undulatory motion (S-Motion). A prototype is built. Experiment results show that the design is effective. Its maximum cruise speed of is 0.288 BL/s, and the turning radius is 0.8 BL.
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