In this paper, a finite element-based dynamic model is developed for a miniature underwater vehicle propelled by Ionic
Polymer Metal Composite (IPMC) actuator. The proposed approach describes the electro-mechanical actuation using a
large deflection beam model. Hydrodynamic forces including frictional effects are also considered. The hydrodynamic
force coefficients are identified based on the results of extensive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations.
Experimental results have shown that the proposed model predicts the motion of the vehicle accurately for different
actuation signals. The proposed model can lead to the development of an underwater vehicle, which can achieve
complex set of maneuvers. It can also contribute to developing both open and closed-loop control algorithms for the