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Penguin-Inspired Propulsion System with Novel Spherical Joint
Underwater, Emperor penguins can accelerate from zero to 15mph in less than a second. Flavio Noca, a professor of aerodynamics at University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (hepia), led a research team in developing a penguin-inspired propulsion system that uses a novel spherical joint mechanism. Based on a penguin's shoulder-and-wing system, the mechanism features a spherical joint that enables three degrees of freedom and a fixed center of rotation. ?Unlike an animal shoulder joint, however, this spherical joint enables unlimited rotational range about the main shaft axis like a propeller,? Noca said. The mechanism could lead to propellers with directional thrusting capability.
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