On the self-propulsion of an N-sphere micro-robot

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this paper is to describe the self-propulsion of a micro-robot (or micro-swimmer) consisting of N spheres moving along a fixed line. The spheres are linked to each other by arms with their lengths changing periodically. We use the asymptotic procedure containing the two-timing method and a distinguished limit. We show that self-propulsion velocity appears (in the main approximation) as a linear combination of velocities of all possible triplets of spheres. Velocities and efficiencies of three-, four-and five-sphere swimmers are calculated.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


  • biological fluid dynamics
  • low-Reynolds-number flows
  • micro-/nano-fluid dynamics
  • propulsion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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