Flipper Filter: A Bioinspired Robot Preserving Marine Life, 2018.
Flipper Filter is an economically and environmentally friendly device designed to help clean the oceans of microplastics and protect marine fauna. As a hydrodynamic device that moves through the ocean, it filters out microplastics that endanger marine life and potentially humans. Flipper Filter’s structural ridges are dictated by the morphological tectonics of leatherback sea turtles. Its bioinspired design allows for more efficient maneuverability in the water as its dorsal longitudinal ridges are misaligned from streamlines to generate streamwise vertices increasing hydrodynamic performance in the open ocean. Secondly, Flipper Filter also takes inspiration from filter feeding baleen whales. Just as baleen whales take in ocean water and use their tongue to capture food and create a high pressure system to release water laterally and via openings near the back of their mouths, Flipper Filter will receive ocean water containing microplastics and as the water flows both to the posterior end and laterally to the microplastic filters, it traps the polluting microplastics. When water containing microplastics flows to the back of the device where a microplastic filter made of plankton netting catches the tiny pollutants, pressure begins to build up. As pressure builds, the flow is directed to the lateral direction and out the bottom openings, also covered with plankton netting, trapping the microplastics within the device.
B.S. Integrative Biology, 2020
B.A. Architecture, 2018