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Recently, flapping robots are noticed by many researchers, and the realization of flight motion like insects, birds and so on has many challenges. 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 and sensing fibers can be embedded into the wing as part of the structure, which makes the robot flap while remaining compact and light. This paper describes the performance enhancement of the flapping robots capable of flapping and feathering motions using piezoelectric fiber composites. A unique mechanism with different stiffness for up-stroke and down-stroke and a new drive control using saturated sine wave are proposed in this paper. By introducing the mechanism and drive control, the performance about lift and thrust force has been improved remarkably.
Date of Conference: 18-22 Oct. 2010