Controlled Flight of a Biologically Inspired, Insect-Scale Robot

  title={Controlled Flight of a Biologically Inspired, Insect-Scale Robot},
  author={Kevin Y. Ma and Pakpong Chirarattananon and Sawyer B. Fuller and Robert J. Wood},
  pages={603 - 607}
Lord of the Robotic Flies While small-scale flying objects are ubiquitous in nature, they are quite hard to engineer. As sizes get smaller, fixed-winged flight becomes less efficient because of increased drag resistance. Ma et al. (p. 603) developed a tethered robotic fly with wings that flap through the use of piezo-electric materials. Control of the flight motion involved a feedback process, which allowed the tethered robotic fly to hover and make controlled flight maneuvers. A fly-scale… 

RoboFly: An Insect-Sized Robot With Simplified Fabrication That Is Capable of Flight, Ground, and Water Surface Locomotion

A new design of a 74-mg flapping-wing robot is presented that dramatically reduces the number of parts and simplifies fabrication, which allows for wing-driven ground and air–water interfacial locomotion, improving the versatility of the robot.

A tailless aerial robotic flapper reveals that flies use torque coupling in rapid banked turns

A programmable and agile autonomous free-flying robot controlled through bio-inspired motion changes of its flapping wings that enables new methods for studying animal flight, and its flight characteristics allow for real-world flight missions.

A New Robot Fly Design That is Easier to Fabricate and Capable of Flight and Ground Locomotion

A re-design is presented that lowers the center of mass, allowing the robot to additionally land without the need for long legs and allow for wing-driven ground locomotion, as well as feedback-stabilized flights.

Controlled flight of a microrobot powered by soft artificial muscles

Heavier-than-air insect-scale aerial robots powered by soft artificial muscles can hover and also recover from in-flight collisions, illustrating the potential for developing next-generation agile soft robots.

Collision Resilient Insect-Scale Soft-Actuated Aerial Robots With High Agility

It is demonstrated that soft aerial robots can achieve insect-like flight capabilities absent in rigid-powered MAVs, thus showing the potential of a new class of hybrid soft-rigid robots.

Planar Aerial Reorientation of an Insect Scale Robot Using Piezo-Actuated Tail Like Appendage

The design, fabrication, and actuation of a insect-sized aerial robot that is equipped with a bio-inspired tail is presented, and results indicate that incorporating a tail can allow for more rapid dynamic maneuvers and could stabilize the robot during flight.

Controlling free flight of a robotic fly using an onboard vision sensor inspired by insect ocelli

An ocelli-inspired visual sensor is presented and it is demonstrated theoretically and empirically that this is sufficient to stabilize the robot's upright orientation, the first known use of onboard sensors at this scale.

Rapid Inertial Reorientation of an Aerial Insect-sized Robot Using a Piezo-actuated Tail

The first analysis of inertial reorientation using a piezo actuator is presented, departing from previous work to date that has focused exclusively on actuation by DC electric motor.



The First Takeoff of a Biologically Inspired At-Scale Robotic Insect

  • R. Wood
  • Biology
    IEEE Transactions on Robotics
  • 2008
It is shown how novel manufacturing paradigms enable the creation of the mechanical and aeromechanical subsystems of a microrobotic device that is capable of Diptera-like wing trajectories, and the results are a uniquemicrorobot: a 60 mg robotic insect that can produce sufficient thrust to accelerate vertically.

Progress on ‘pico’ air vehicles

Progress is presented in the essential technologies for insect-scale robots, or ‘pico’ air vehicles, as the characteristic size of a flying robot decreases.

The novel aerodynamics of insect flight: applications to micro-air vehicles.

  • C. Ellington
  • Engineering
    The Journal of experimental biology
  • 1999
Design characteristics of insect-based flying machines are presented, along with estimates of the mass supported, the mechanical power requirement and maximum flight speeds over a wide range of sizes and frequencies.

Aeromechanics of passive rotation in flapping flight

Flying insects and robots that mimic them flap and rotate (or ‘pitch’) their wings with large angular amplitudes. The reciprocating nature of flapping requires rotation of the wing at the end of each

Mechanics and aerodynamics of insect flight control

  • G. Taylor
  • Biology
    Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
  • 2001
This work presents a qualitative analysis of insect flight control from the perspective of flight mechanics, drawing upon both the neurophysiology and biomechanics literatures to provide an assay of the relative importance of different unsteady mechanisms.

Discovering the flight autostabilizer of fruit flies by inducing aerial stumbles

This work directly investigates control and stability through the application of torque impulses to freely flying fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) and measurement of their behavioral response, and discovers that flies respond to gentle disturbances by accurately returning to their original orientation.

Haltere-mediated equilibrium reflexes of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.

  • M. Dickinson
  • Biology
    Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences
  • 1999
The results indicate that flies possess a robust equilibrium reflex in which angular rotations of the body elicit compensatory changes in both the amplitude and stroke frequency of the wings.

The Aerodynamics of Free-Flight Maneuvers in Drosophila

The results show that a fly generates rapid turns with surprisingly subtle modifications in wing motion, which nonetheless generate sufficient torque for the fly to rotate its body through each turn.

A review of actuation and power electronics options for flapping-wing robotic insects

This paper explores the design space of flapping-wing microrobots weighing lg and under by determining mechanical requirements for the actuation mechanism, analyzing potential actuation technologies, and discussing the design and realization of the required power electronics.

Design, fabrication, and modeling of the split actuator microrobotic bee

  • K. MaS. FeltonR. Wood
  • Engineering
    2012 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
  • 2012
It is shown that the split actuator microrobotic bee is able to independently modulate the motions of both wings and produce roll, pitch, and yaw torques, as well as a peak lift force of 1.3 mN, in a 70mg package.