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Design and Control of a Mini Aerial Vehicle that has Four Flapping-Wings


The speed, agility, maneuverability, as well as the range and efficiency of insects and birds are far beyond the state of the art mini flying vehicles. Especially within the last couple of decades there have been various research works to create bio-inspired flying vehicles that try to imitate these amazing creatures. In this paper, the design and control of a micro aerial vehicle that has four flapping wings is introduced. The paper introduces firstly, the mechanical design of the vehicle that uses a four-bar mechanism as the wing mechanism in each flapping wings. In order to obtain flapping motion from rotation of the motor, a crank rocker mechanism is used by connecting the shortest link to the fixed link. Flapping range (swing angle) is determined by obtaining dead-center positions, and it is chosen as large as possible to maximize the lift force. With the help of the transmission angle optimization, and keeping the deviation of transmission angle from 90 as small as possible, the dimensions of the wings are determined. Once the mechanical design is finalized, controller system design was performed. To develop a successful controller, a model of the vehicle was introduced. PID controllers were proposed and Matlab Simulink simulations were developed to show that the proposed PID controllers are able to control the vehicle successfully. Lastly, a prototype vehicle has been designed and manufactured with the help of the results of this paper.

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This work was supported in part by the Istanbul Technical University office of research projects (BAP) through project 37804.

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Correspondence to Erdinç Altuğ.

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İşbitirici, A., Altuğ, E. Design and Control of a Mini Aerial Vehicle that has Four Flapping-Wings. J Intell Robot Syst 88, 247–265 (2017).

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  • Ornithopter
  • UAV
  • Flight stability
  • Flapping-wing