Robotics: Science and Systems XVI

Data-driven modeling of a flapping bat robot with a single flexible wing surface

Jonathan Hoff, Seth Hutchinson


Flapping wing aerial vehicles rely heavily on accurate models for a variety of different tasks. There have been significant efforts in creating both analytical and data-driven models for many of these types of vehicles including ornithopters and small aerial vehicles mimicking insects. However, very few works have explored modeling for aerial vehicles with a skeletal structure throughout the wings and a single flexible membrane that covers the wings and tail such as is found in robots with bat morphology. In this paper, we build upon previous efforts to model a bat robot using a combination of first-principles and data-driven tools. We record a series of load cell tests and free-flight experiments, and we optimize the model parameters to improve long-term flight prediction. We introduce several extra terms in the model including a term explaining the coupling between wings and tail in order to maximize the effectiveness of collected flight data. The result is a model that performs well in prediction for a range of different tail actuator configurations as demonstrated by our flight results using a bat robot.



    AUTHOR    = {Jonathan Hoff AND Seth Hutchinson}, 
    TITLE     = {{Data-driven modeling of a flapping bat robot with a single flexible wing surface}}, 
    BOOKTITLE = {Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems}, 
    YEAR      = {2020}, 
    ADDRESS   = {Corvalis, Oregon, USA}, 
    MONTH     = {July}, 
    DOI       = {10.15607/RSS.2020.XVI.043}