The Virtual Aquarium: Simulations of Fish Swimming

M. Curatolo [1], L. Teresi [2],
[1] Department of Engineering, Università Roma Tre, Roma, Italy
[2] Department of Mathematics and Physics, Università Roma Tre, Roma, Italy
Published in 2015

Our goal is to reproduce the key features of carangiform swimming by running 2D simulations which fully exploit the Fluid-Structure Interaction interface of COMSOL Multiphysics software. Fish swimming is an important area of research, with relevant developments on biomechanics, robotics and mathematical modeling. Usually, in fish swimming simulations, the motion of the fish is assigned, and much efforts are put on fluid dynamics. Here, we simulate muscles contraction by using the notion of distortions (also known as pre-strains), emphasizing the kinematical role of muscle, the generation of movement, rather than the dynamical one, the production of force. A proper undulatory movement of a fish-like body is reproduced by defining a pattern of muscles activation, tuned both in space and in time.