Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2023 Joshua R. Heckman. All rights reserved. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Engineering Department

First Advisor

E. Carr Everbach


While in the very early stages of life, Barnacle nauplii are only a few micrometers in length, which causes them to experience a very low Reynolds number while swimming through water. It is important to understand how these biological creatures swim, so their movements can be mimicked and incorporated into robotics. Currently, there are no autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) that are capable of carrying out missions in fluids with low Reynolds numbers. This project aimed to replicate the movement of a Barnacle Napuli with the use of muscle memory wire, in hopes that one day a AUV that can operate in low Reynolds numbers will be achieved. This project built off of the work of previous students Hannah James and Eleanor Van Rheenen in collaboration of Biology and Engineering departments at Swarthmore College. The previous projects have analyzed the arm movements nauplii, and explored the characteristics of the muscle memory wire. Using data from the previous research, this project served as an experiment to build a wire holder contraption that was capable of contracting at least 1 inch of wire as well mimicking the range of motion of one of the nauplii arm movements with a rigid oar. While the first attempt at building a wire holder contraption with pulleys was somewhat unsuccessful, the second attempt successfully replicated the range of motion of two of the nauplii arms autonomously using a nitinol spring, a circuit, and a rigid carbon fiber rod.

Included in

Engineering Commons