Controlled flight of a biologically inspired, insect-scale robot

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review

452 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-607
Journal / PublicationScience
Volume340
Issue number6132
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Flies are among the most agile flying creatures on Earth. To mimic this aerial prowess in a similarly sized robot requires tiny, high-efficiency mechanical components that pose miniaturization challenges governed by force-scaling laws, suggesting unconventional solutions for propulsion, actuation, and manufacturing. To this end, we developed high-power-density piezoelectric flight muscles and a manufacturing methodology capable of rapidly prototyping articulated, flexure-based sub-millimeter mechanisms. We built an 80-milligram, insect-scale, flapping-wing robot modeled loosely on the morphology of flies. Using a modular approach to flight control that relies on limited information about the robot's dynamics, we demonstrated tethered but unconstrained stable hovering and basic controlled flight maneuvers. The result validates a sufficient suite of innovations for achieving artificial, insect-like flight.

Citation Format(s)

Controlled flight of a biologically inspired, insect-scale robot. / Ma, Kevin Y.; Chirarattananon, Pakpong; Fuller, Sawyer B.; Wood, Robert J.

In: Science, Vol. 340, No. 6132, 2013, p. 603-607.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review