Vortex Actuation via Electric Ducted Fans: an Experimental Study

  • George Andrikopoulos
  • George Nikolakopoulos
Open Access


The presented work investigates the potential of utilizing commercially available Electric Ducted Fans (EDFs) as adhesion actuators, while providing a novel insight on the analysis of the adhesion nature related to negative pressure and thrust force generation against a target surface. To this goal, a novel EDF-based Vortex Actuation Setup (VAS) is proposed for monitoring important properties such as adhesion force, pressure distribution, current draw, motor temperature etc. during the VAS’ operation when placed in variable distances from a test surface. In addition, this work is contributing towards the novel evaluation of different design variables and modifications to original EDF structures, with the goal of analyzing their effect on the prototype VAS, while optimizing its adhesion efficiency for its future incorporation in a wall-climbing robot for inspection and repair purposes.


Electric Ducted Fans Vortex Actuation Negative pressure Adhesion force 


Funding Information

This work has received funding from the European Union’s H2020 Framework Programme under the call FET-OPEN, grant agreement No. 665238.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Control Engineering GroupLuleå University of TechnologyLuleåSweden

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