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Dynamics of a three-dimensionally movable microflight mechanism were analyzed both theoretically and experimentally. The microflight mechanism is composed of magnetic rotational wings that rotate and generate thrust in an alternating magnetic field and a body with magnetic anisotropy that contributes to attitude control. The device consisted of 2.5-mm-long wings weighing 3.5 mg which were fabricated with MEMS technology. A wing rotational frequency of 500 Hz provided enough thrust for liftoff. Experimental data obtained through high-speed camera images show good agreement with theory and also quantify the magnetic anisotropy of the microflight mechanism, which cannot be estimated theoretically. Simultaneous actuation and attitude control by an external magnetic field presented herein, which culminated in simplification and small weight of the device and thus the successful flight, is applicable to other MEMS devices.
Date of Publication: Oct 2002