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Recently, flapping robots are noticed by many researchers, and many challenges are being made toward the realization of flight motions like insects, birds and so on. The purpose of this work is to develop flapping robots using a new type of piezoelectric material, that is, piezoelectric fiber composites. By using the composites, actuating as well as energy-harvesting fibers and sensing fibers can be embedded in the structure and it makes flapping robots with compact and light structure. This paper proposes a new driving mechanism for the flapping robots using piezoelectric fiber composites. The driving mechanism is inspired from insects with indirect flight muscle. A prototype of flapping robot using the new driving mechanism has been designed and experimental results show the feasibility of the proposed mechanism.
Date of Conference: 4-7 Aug. 2010