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Fundamental and Experimental Conditions for the Realization of Traveling-Wave-Induced Aerodynamic Propulsive Forces by Piezoelectrically Deformed Plastic Substrates

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2 Author(s)
Jafferis, N.T. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Princeton Univ., Princeton, NJ, USA ; Sturm, J.C.

In a previous work, we demonstrated the propulsive force produced by controllable traveling mechanical waves in a thin plastic sheet suspended in air above a flat surface, thus confirming the physical basis for a “flying” carpet near a horizontal surface. Here, we discuss the fundamental and experimental conditions for realizing such a demonstration. We first present the theory motivating our work and use it to determine the range of experimental conditions most likely to produce a forward propulsive force. We then present a detailed description of the experimental approach to produce the traveling waves, including integrated piezoelectric actuators and sensors to provide feedback control, artifact elimination, and power considerations.

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 2 )