Composite microstructures, microactuators and sensors for biologically inspired micro air vehicles
Unique among all nature's fliers, flying insects exhibit extreme maneuverability along with the ability to navigate in constricted environments. Advances in microrobotics, electroactive and composite materials, along with a greater understanding of the time-varying aero-dynamic forces generated by insect wings have lead to the exploration of millimeter-scale flapping-wing autonomous robotic insects. The micromechanical flying insect (MFI) project has the goal of creating a flying insect capable of sustained autonomous flight. This work describes the MFI project in detail with close attention to the design and construction of a thorax and wing transmission system, high power density actuators, and a class of biologically inspired sensors along with empirical results from each.
0548: Mechanical engineering