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Applied Bionics and Biomechanics
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 9806287, 11 pages
Research Article

Innovative Design and Performance Evaluation of Bionic Imprinting Toothed Wheel

1Faculty of Modern Agricultural Engineering, Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming 650500, China
2United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691, USA
3College of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Jilin University, Changchun 130025, China
4The Key Laboratory of Bionic Engineering, Jilin University, Changchun 130025, China
5International Soil and Water Renewables, LLC, Salem, IN 47167, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Zhihong Zhang

Received 11 August 2017; Accepted 18 October 2017; Published 8 January 2018

Academic Editor: Kollbe Ahn

Copyright © 2018 Zhihong Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A highly efficient soil-burrowing dung beetle possesses an intricate outer contour curve on its foreleg end-tooth. This study was carried out based on evidence that this special outer contour curve has the potential of reducing soil penetration resistance and could enhance soil-burrowing efficiency. A toothed wheel is a typical agricultural implement for soil imprinting, to increase its working efficiency; the approach of the bionic geometrical structure was utilized to optimize the innovative shape of imprinting toothed wheel. Characteristics in the dung beetle’s foreleg end-tooth were extracted and studied by the edge detection technique. Then, this special outer contour curve was modeled by a nine-order polynomial function and used for the innovative design of imprinting the tooth’s cutting edge. Both the conventional and bionic teeth were manufactured, and traction tests in a soil bin were conducted. Taking required draft force and volume of imprinted microbasin as the evaluating indexes, operating efficiency and quality of different toothed wheels were compared and investigated. Results indicate that compared with the conventional toothed wheel, a bionic toothed wheel possesses a better forward resistance reduction property against soil and, meanwhile, can enhance the quality of soil imprinting by increasing the volume of the created micro-basin.