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This paper presents a novel micro air vehicle (MAV) design that seeks to reproduce the unsteady aerodynamics of insects in their flight. Many prototype MAVs have been developed around the world over the last decade, with various wing configurations, e.g. fixed, rotary, flapping or hybrid. Many of these projects aim to implement the insect flight mechanics and their associated aerodynamic benefits onto a miniature flying robot. In this paper, the mechanical realization of a flapping wing MAV is described, where a novel parallel crank rocker mechanism has been designed to produce the wing flapping motion. Various potential actuators are outlined, with recommendation made for the best suited actuator for powering flight. A brief account of the development and manufacture of the MAV prototype is also given.
Date of Conference: 17-20 Dec. 2006