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Proceedings Paper

Development of piezoelectrically actuated micro-aerial vehicles
Author(s): Adam G. Cox; Daniel J. Monopoli; Michael Goldfarb; Ephrahim Garcia
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Paper Abstract

A discussion of the principles involved in small-scale flight is presented here. In addition, several novel mechanisms have been developed in an attempt to mechanically emulate flapping flight on the meso-scale. Wings are being developed which will exploit particular material properties to emulate the dynamic characteristics of insect wings. The flapping mechanisms developed in this paper use piezoelectric unimorph actuators integrated with compliant, solid-state flexure based mechanisms. Four and five bar linkages are used to convert the linear unimorph output into a single degree-of-freedom rotational flapping motion. Due to their capacitive nature, piezoelectric actuators generally dissipate less power than traditional actuation methods such as electromagnetic mirrors. Piezoelectric actuators possess a high power density and are capable of high force output. They are frequently used to induce structural resonances, making them suitable for use in these devices. The dynamics of these systems rely on the mechanics of flexure mechanisms, the mechanical and electrical behavior of the piezoelectric elements, and the aerodynamic interaction of the wing and the air, resulting in a complex, nonlinear problem.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 August 1999
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3834, Microrobotics and Microassembly, (18 August 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.357814
Show Author Affiliations
Adam G. Cox, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
Daniel J. Monopoli, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
Michael Goldfarb, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
Ephrahim Garcia, DARPA (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3834:
Microrobotics and Microassembly
Bradley J. Nelson; Jean-Marc Breguet, Editor(s)

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