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Piezoelectrically actuated four-bar mechanism with two flexible links for micromechanical flying insect thorax

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1 Author(s)
Sitti, M. ; Robotics Lab., Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA, USA

In this paper, a piezoelectrically actuated four-bar mechanism with two flexible links is proposed to be used in a micromechanical flying insect robot wing thorax for stroke amplification. PZT-5H- and PZN-PT-based unimorph actuators are utilized at the input link of the four-bar for a compact and lightweight thorax transmission mechanism. The kinematics and dynamics of the proposed wing structure with two parallel four-bar mechanisms are analyzed, optimal four-bar link size selection method is introduced, and quasistatic forces generated at the wing are computed for evaluating the feasibility of the design. Using laser micromachining and folding techniques, prototype four-bar structures are constructed. In the experiments, for a 10×1×0.12 mm3 PZT-5H actuator-based four-bar mechanism, the stroke amplification of around 20 - 25 is held, and an attached polyester wing is resonated at 29 Hz with around 90° flapping motion. These results match closely with the predicted theoretical values.

Published in:

Mechatronics, IEEE/ASME Transactions on  (Volume:8 ,  Issue: 1 )