Development of elastomeric flight muscles for flapping wing micro air vehicles
Date of Issue2017
SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Common drivers of flapping wings are a motorized crank mechanisms, which convert the motor rotation into wing reciprocation. Energetic efficiency of the motorized wing flappers can be quite low due to the lack of elastic storage and high friction. This paper relook into the flapping flight apparatus of natural flyers and draw inspiration to develop flight muscles capable of elastic storage, in addition to the frictionless thoracic compliant mechanisms. We review the recent findings on the use of dielectric elastomer actuators as flight muscles. We also discuss the challenges and the prospects of using dielectric elastomer minimum energy structure to create large and fast bending/unbending, possibly for wing flapping.
Dielectric Elastomer Actuator
© 2017 Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers. All rights reserved. This paper was published in Fifth International Conference on Optical and Photonics Engineering and is made available with permission of Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers.