Progress on “Pico” Air Vehicles

  • Robert J. Wood
  • Benjamin Finio
  • Michael Karpelson
  • Kevin Ma
  • Néstor O. Pérez-Arancibia
  • Pratheev S. Sreetharan
  • Hiro Tanaka
  • John P. Whitney
Chapter
Part of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics book series (STAR, volume 100)

Abstract

As the characteristic size of a flying robot decreases, the challenges for successful flight revert to basic questions of fabrication, actuation, fluid mechanics, stabilization, and power—whereas such questions have in general been answered for larger aircraft. When developing a flying robot on the scale of a common housefly, all hardware must be developed from scratch as there is nothing “off-the-shelf” which can be used for mechanisms, sensors, or computation that would satisfy the extreme mass and power limitations. This technology void also applies to techniques available for fabrication and assembly of the aeromechanical components: the scale and complexity of the mechanical features requires new ways to design and prototype at scales between macro and MEMS, but with rich topologies and material choices one would expect in designing human-scale vehicles. With these challenges in mind, we present progress in the essential technologies for insect-scale robots, or “pico” air vehicles.

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was partially supported by the National Science Foundation (award number CCF-0926148), the Army Research Laboratory (award number W911NF-08-2-0004), the Office of Naval Research (award number N00014-08-1-0919-DOD35CAP), and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (award number FA9550-09-1-0156-DOD35CAP). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert J. Wood
    • 1
  • Benjamin Finio
    • 1
  • Michael Karpelson
    • 1
  • Kevin Ma
    • 1
  • Néstor O. Pérez-Arancibia
    • 1
  • Pratheev S. Sreetharan
    • 1
  • Hiro Tanaka
    • 1
  • John P. Whitney
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard School of Engineering and Applied SciencesCambridgeUSA

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