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Insect-like Robots Perch Positively

05/20/2016 2:12 PM

I thought the CR4 community would find this research report interesting. Clever solution to two problems: drones running out of drone juice and drones sticking the landing and being unable to take off again. Happy Friday, everyone.

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Guru

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#1

Re: Insect-like Robots Perch Positively

05/20/2016 6:23 PM

There's one problem with drones the size of insects. They could get eaten by birds...

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Guru

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Placerville, CA (38° 45N, 120° 47'W)
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#2

Re: Insect-like Robots Perch Positively

05/21/2016 12:20 AM

If I saw correctly, all of these little robots were tethered with fine wires, presumably carrying the energy to propel them. I have difficulty imagining a battery-powered free-flying device of this size that could stay airborne for more than a few seconds.

A bee is pretty large compared to its wing size. Since they can fly at least a mile, they obviously must have a pretty darned efficient process for extracting the energy of sugar!

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Guru

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Insect-like Robots Perch Positively

05/21/2016 2:04 PM

The amount of energy required goes back to wing loading (or rotor disk loading). You propel air downward to create lift (delta momentum). The lower the wing loading, the higher the "hover efficiency".

http://www.krossblade.com/disc-loading-and-hover-efficiency/

Due to the square - cube law, i.e., weight is proportional to cube of dimension where wing or rotor area is proportional to the square, so the smaller the scale, the less the wing loading and the higher the hover efficiency. So smaller scale should be advantageous as much as miniaturization can be done on motors, sensors, batteries, etc.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Insect-like Robots Perch Positively

05/21/2016 10:12 PM

Interesting article. Thanks!

Do you have any links to similar info on flapping wings ?

You mentioned motors. Any idea what kind of motor (in the broadest definition of motor) these little flappers used? One guess would be nitinol, but it seems like that would take a lot of power...

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Insect-like Robots Perch Positively

05/22/2016 8:24 AM

Nitinol requires change in temperature which would be much too slow.

Here is an interesting paper I ran across. I haven't had time to read it yet...

https://smartech.gatech.edu/bitstream/handle/1853/14594/jadhav_gautam_r_200705_mast.pdf.pdf

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Insect-like Robots Perch Positively

05/23/2016 12:48 AM

That looks very much like something I might have done... I did get a chance to read it today while my wife was driving.

Unfortunately, his conclusion was that he had to cut the weight in half, yet increase the power by a factor of 5, before it could lift its own weight.

Maybe you're right: he was trying to make too large of a device...

I also notice that he was only flapping, with no attempt to change the angle of attack of the wings simultaneously with the flapping motion.

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