Robotics: Science and Systems XII

Synergistic Design of a Bio-Inspired Micro Aerial Vehicle with Articulated Wings

Jonathan Hoff, Alireza Ramezani, Soon-Jo Chung, Seth Hutchinson


The sophisticated and intricate connection between bat morphology and flight capabilities makes it challenging to employ conventional flying robots to replicate the aerial locomotion of these creatures. In recent work, a bat inspired soft Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV) called Bat Bot (B2) with five Degrees of Actuation (DoA) has been constructed to mimic the flight behavior of a biological bat. Major differences in structural topology resulted from this simpler kinematic complexity, and thus it is necessary to find the dimensions of B2’s structure and the behavior of its actuators such that the wingbeat cycle of B2 closely mimics that of a biological bat. The current work assumes the previously designed structure of B2 and presents a synergistic design approach to imitate the kinematic synergies of a biological bat. Recent findings have unveiled that the most dominant synergies in a biological bat could be combined to accurately represent the original kinematic movement, therefore simplifying its dimensional complexity. In this work, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) has been employed in order to extract dominant principal components of biological bat flight kinematics. Thereafter, first and second principal components are chosen to shape the parametric kinematics and actuator trajectories of B2 through finite state nonlinear constrained optimization. The method yields a robot mechanism that despite having a few DoAs, it possesses several biologically meaningful morphing specializations.



    AUTHOR    = {Jonathan Hoff AND Alireza Ramezani AND Soon-Jo Chung AND Seth Hutchinson}, 
    TITLE     = {Synergistic Design of a Bio-Inspired Micro Aerial Vehicle with Articulated Wings}, 
    BOOKTITLE = {Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems}, 
    YEAR      = {2016}, 
    ADDRESS   = {AnnArbor, Michigan}, 
    MONTH     = {June}, 
    DOI       = {10.15607/RSS.2016.XII.009}