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Proceedings Paper

Challenges for micro-scale flapping-wing micro air vehicles
Author(s): Robert J. Wood; Benjamin Finio; Michael Karpelson; Nestor O. Pérez-Arancibia; Pratheev Sreetharan; John P. Whitney
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Paper Abstract

The challenges for successful flight of insect-scale micro air vehicles encompass basic questions of fabrication, design, propulsion, actuation, control, and power - topics that have in general been answered for larger aircraft. When developing a flying robot on the scale of flies and bees, all hardware must be developed from scratch as there are no "off-the-shelf" sensors, actuators, or microcontrollers that can satisfy the extreme mass and power limitations imposed by such vehicles. Similar challenges exist for fabrication and assembly of the structural and aeromechanical components of insect-scale micro air vehicles that neither macro-scale techniques nor MEMS can adequately solve. With these challenges in mind, this paper presents progress in the essential technologies for micro-scale flapping-wing robots.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 May 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8373, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications IV, 83731J (7 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.918154
Show Author Affiliations
Robert J. Wood, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (United States)
Benjamin Finio, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (United States)
Michael Karpelson, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (United States)
Nestor O. Pérez-Arancibia, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (United States)
Pratheev Sreetharan, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (United States)
John P. Whitney, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8373:
Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications IV
Thomas George; M. Saif Islam; Achyut Dutta, Editor(s)

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