Mechanical design and manufacturing of an insect-scale flapping-wing robot

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Mechanical design and manufacturing of an insect-scale flapping-wing robot

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dc.contributor.advisor Wood, Robert J. en_US
dc.contributor.author Ma, Kevin Yuan en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2015-12-04T18:41:50Z
dc.date.created 2015-11 en_US
dc.date.issued 2015-08-28 en_US
dc.date.submitted 2015 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Ma, Kevin Yuan. 2015. Mechanical design and manufacturing of an insect-scale flapping-wing robot. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:23845433
dc.description.abstract Despite the prevalence of insect flight as a form of locomotion in nature, manmade aerial systems have yet to match the aerial prowess of flying insects. Within a tiny body volume, flying insects embody the capabilities to flap seemingly insubstantial wings at very high frequencies and sustain beyond their own body weight in flight. A precise authority over their wing motions enables them to respond to obstacles and threats in flight with unrivaled speed and grace. Motivated by a desire for comparably agile flying machines, research efforts in the last decade have generated crucial developments for realizing an artificial instantiation of insect flight. The need for tiny, high-efficiency mechanical components has produced unconventional solutions for propulsion, actuation, and manufacturing. Early vehicle designs proved to be flightworthy but were critically limited by the inability to produce control torques in flight. In this thesis, we synthesize all existing technologies for insect-scale manufacturing and actuation, and we introduce a new vehicle design, the "dual actuator bee," to address the need for flight control. Our work culminates in the first demonstration of controlled, hovering flight of an insect-scale, flapping-wing robot. As the ultimate goal for this research effort is the creation of fully autonomous flying robots, these vehicles must sustain their own power sources and intelligence. To that end, we explore the challenges of scaling flapping-wing flight to attain greater lift forces. Using a scaling heuristic to determine key vehicle specifications, we develop and successfully demonstrate a hover-capable vehicle design that possesses the requisite payload capacity for the full suite of components required for control autonomy. With this operational vehicle as a point of reference, we introduce an iterative sizing procedure for specifying a vehicle design with payload capacity capable of supporting power autonomy. In the development of these vehicles, the reliability of their construction has been a substantial challenge. We present strategies for systematically addressing issues of vehicle construction. Together, this suite of results demonstrates the feasibility of achieving artificial, insect-like flight. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Engineering and Applied Sciences - Engineering Sciences en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dash.license LAA en_US
dc.subject Engineering, Mechanical en_US
dc.subject Engineering, Robotics en_US
dc.subject Engineering, Aerospace en_US
dc.title Mechanical design and manufacturing of an insect-scale flapping-wing robot en_US
dc.type Thesis or Dissertation en_US
dash.depositing.author Ma, Kevin Yuan en_US
dc.date.available 2015-12-04T18:41:50Z
thesis.degree.date 2015 en_US
thesis.degree.grantor Graduate School of Arts & Sciences en_US
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en_US
thesis.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy en_US
dc.contributor.committeeMember Howe, Robert D. en_US
dc.contributor.committeeMember Walsh, Conor J. en_US
dc.type.material text en_US
thesis.degree.department Engineering and Applied Sciences - Engineering Sciences en_US
dc.description.keywords Micro-air vehicle; Flying robot; Robobee; Robotic insect; Insect robot; Biologically-inspired; Robotics; Design; Manufacturing; Origami; Mechanism design; Robot bee; Flapping wings; Aerial vehicle; Micromanufacturing; Robot design; Microrobotics en_US

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