Bionic Swimmer  

GSAPP Core I  
Critic: Tei Carpenter  
Fall 2016  

Contract, expand, crawl,
on the seabed where
they were born.

 Analytical sketches of the physical composition
and movement patterns of sea cucumber

Sea cucumbers are soft-bodied creatures that live at all ocean depths. Most of them move slowly by using their tiny tube feet, but some also have a faster escape response—they flex their bodies and inch along the sea floor. In this research and design project, I went through iterations of analysis, abstraction, translation, and materialization to apply the movements of sea cucumbers to a mechanical device that swims across the water surface.

Analytical chart documenting a full cycle of contraction and expansion 

different movement patterns achieved using combinations of different plastic bands, fin shapes, angles and positions

Final model showing the bionic swimmer in motion



© 2013-2020 Yvette Xiner Liu