Elizabeth Farrell Helbling

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Creating an autonomous flying vehicle the size of a honeybee presents a number of technical challenges because of its small scale. As vehicle wingspan diminishes, angular acceleration rates increase, necessitating sensing and control systems with high bandwidth. Hovering demonstrations have so far required feedback from highspeed motion capture cameras to(More)
The Harvard RoboBee was the first fly-sized vehicle to lift its own weight. This vehicle has previously demonstrated controlled flight maneuvers, but this required an array of external cameras to precisely track its trajectory. Developing flight-worthy sensors to eliminate the need for external motion capture is an area of active study. In this paper, we(More)
Here we present a suite of theoretical, computational, and experimental studies culminating in the first aerial and aquatic capable insect-scale robot. We develop a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation to model fluid-wing interaction in air and water. From CFD and a system dynamics analysis we predict that a multi-modal flapping strategy will(More)
With the goal of operating a biologically inspired robot autonomously outside of laboratory conditions, in this paper, we simulated wind disturbances in a laboratory setting and investigated the effects of gusts on the flight dynamics of a millimetre-scale flapping-wing robot. Simplified models describing the disturbance effects on the robot's dynamics are(More)
Onboard vision sensing is a current challenge in micro-scale robotics. Small flapping-wing robots such as the RoboBee present significant constraints on power, weight, and image quality for an onboard vision sensor. Here we report the integration of a 1 × 1 × 1.7 mm camera capable of video capture in flight. Inspired by gaze stabilization in(More)
This paper describes a power electronics unit (PEU) for an insect-scale flapping-wing robot. Three power saving techniques used in the actuator driver of the PEU - envelope tracking, dynamic common mode, and charge sharing - reduce power consumption while retaining weight benefits of an inductor-less linear driver. A pair of actuator driver ICs energize(More)
Insect-scale micro-air vehicles (MAVs) require careful consideration of the size, weight and power for each component. The inherent instability of the system, exacerbated by the faster dynamics that result from increasing angular accelerations with decreasing scale, requires high bandwidth sensing to maintain stable flight. The Harvard RoboBee is the first(More)
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