Development Of A Novel Flapping Mechanism With Adjustable Wing Kinematics For Micro Air Vehicles
Free (open access)
A. T. Conn, S. C. Burgess & R. A. Hyde
There is currently significant interest in developing micro air vehicles (MAVs). Insects provide a natural blueprint for such vehicles and can outperform current man-made miniature flyers through the exploitation of low Reynolds number aerodynamics. However, designing a flapping mechanism that replicates the complex wing kinematics of insects is a demanding task, due to limitations in current actuation technology and the miniature scale of MAVs. The majority of current MAV flapping mechanisms produce constrained wing kinematics and therefore have little capacity for replicating insect flight manoeuvres and hence controlled flight. This paper presents a novel mechanism that produces partially constrained insect inspired wing motion with adjustable kinematic parameters. The parallel crank-rocker mechanism can modulate the phase difference between the rocker links to achieve this and hence produce controllable flight. Its overall development is described and the wing kinematics it produces are compared with those of a hawkmoth. Keywords: micro air vehicles, insect flight, wing kinematics, flapping wing mechanism, biomimetic, bio-inspired, unsteady aerodynamics. 1 Introduction 1.1 A Brief History of MAVs Micro air vehicles (MAVs) are miniature flying craft that are distinguishable from the current smallest flying vehicles such as military unmanned air vehicles and hobby-enthusiast model airplanes and helicopters by their scale, which in
micro air vehicles, insect flight, wing kinematics, flapping wing mechanism, biomimetic, bio-inspired, unsteady aerodynamics.