8 March 2014 Polymer based flapping-wing robotic insect: Progress in design, fabrication, and characterization
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Abstract
In the last decade, many researchers pursued the development of tiny flying robots inspired by natural flyers destined for the exploration of confined spaces, for example. Within this context, our main objective is to devise a flying robot bioinspired from insect in terms of size and wing kinematics using MEMS technologies. For this purpose, an original design has been developed around resonant thorax and wings by the way of an indirect actuation and a concise transmission whereas the all-polymer prototypes are obtained using a micromachining SU-8 photoresist process. This paper reports our recent progress on the design of a flapping-wing robotic insect as well as on the characterization of its performance. Prototypes with a wingspan of 3 cm and a mass of 22 mg are achieved. Due to the introduction of an innovative compliant link, large and symmetrical bending angles of 70° are obtained at a flapping frequency of 30 Hz along with passive wing torsion while minimizing its energy expenditure. Furthermore, it leads to a mean lift force representing up to 75 % of the prototype weight as measured by an in-house force sensor. Different improvements are currently underway to increase the power-to-weight ratio of the prototype and to obtain an airborne prototype.
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A. Bontemps, T. Vanneste, C. Soyer, J. B. Paquet, S. Grondel, E. Cattan, "Polymer based flapping-wing robotic insect: Progress in design, fabrication, and characterization", Proc. SPIE 9055, Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication 2014, 90550U (8 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2044650; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2044650
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