ABSTRACT To help swimmers improve, we have developed a computational swimming model using underwater manipulator dynamics. We formulate the equations of the underwater manipulator dynamics using the fluid drag, which is proportional to the square of the velocity. We construct a swimming model consisting of several links based on these equations. The distance traveled by the optimal swimming motion is derived using the model. The input parameters are the joint torques. The arm and leg positions in the model are determined from the joint torques. The force transmitted from the water to the manipulator is defined to be the action force, and the force transmitted from the manipulator to the water is defined to be the reaction force. This reaction force is defined to be the propulsion force. By combining the propulsion force generated by the arms and legs and the frictional drag with respect to the body we can calculate the distance traveled. To optimize the propulsion, which depends on the swimmer’s motion, a variational approach using the Lagrange function is applied. We can use the model to simulate 2D pseudo-backstroke motion. Our model has a lower cost than other techniques in the literature, because it does not require computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The swimmer velocity calculated by our model agrees quite closely with the results in the literature. The model qualitatively captures the movement of an actual swimmer.
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