Clapping wing air vehicles are inspired by the Weis-Fogh clap and fling mechanism used by certain insects, where opposing wings almost touch during part of the flap cycle, spawning vortex structures that increase thrust. Current vehicles cannot be scaled to Nano Air Vehicle (NAV) dimensions because they use electromagnetic motors, gears, and linkages that are difficult to fabricate and have poor efficiency at the sub-millimeter scale. This paper develops a novel NAV that uses piezoelectric T-beam actuators that are monolithically fabricated and exhibit unimorph behavior. A hinge and lever wing mechanism amplifies the small actuator displacements to produce large wing motions. A four wing, clapping NAV is designed, fabricated, and experimentally shown to provide a wing stroke angle of approximately 35° at 1 Hz.
- Aerospace Division
Clapping Wing Nano Air Vehicle Using Piezoelectric T-Beam Actuators
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Mateti, K, Kommepalli, HKR, Tadigadapa, SA, & Rahn, CD. "Clapping Wing Nano Air Vehicle Using Piezoelectric T-Beam Actuators." Proceedings of the ASME 2009 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems. Volume 2: Multifunctional Materials; Enabling Technologies and Integrated System Design; Structural Health Monitoring/NDE; Bio-Inspired Smart Materials and Structures. Oxnard, California, USA. September 21–23, 2009. pp. 631-637. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/SMASIS2009-1317
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