From BotJunkie:

"Part of the appeal of flapping wing micro air vehicles is that (unlike helicopters) they offer some resilience against crashing into obstacles. Crashing is still bad, though, and (with some exceptions) significant damage to things that fly generally keeps those things from continuing to be useful. To mitigate this, Harvard University has developed an itty bitty differential to keep a pair of wings (say, on arobot bee or robot fly) generating the same amount of torque, even if one of those wings is damaged. The beauty of the PARITy differential (Passive Aeromechanical Regulation of Imbalanced Torques) is that it’s completely mechanical, and simply due to its design it will (for example) increase the flapping speed of a damaged wing to match the torque output of a paired, undamaged wing. Basically, it’s the same kind of thing that you have controlling the power to the wheels in your car, except about a million times smaller."

Views: 386


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Comment by Morli on September 7, 2010 at 9:52pm
Interesting concept. I guess , insects must have been inspiration for this development.
Comment by passunca on September 8, 2010 at 2:16am
nice but i think future of MAV bees is more on the cyborg front. implanting a device to control a bee looks more effective than trying to mimic mother nature.

Developer
Comment by Mark Colwell on September 8, 2010 at 7:21am
April 1, 2011 DIY Drones new flash!
ArduPilot_UltraFly featuring cyborg neural network for sense and avoid released.
Comment by Geoffrey L. Barrows on September 8, 2010 at 10:13am
@Morli- insects definitely were part of the inspiration- this work was performed as part of the NSF-funded RoboBee project. http://robobees.seas.harvard.edu/ Prof. Rob Wood and is group are doing some impressive work in this area. We are involved with this effort as well- our part is to make a set of "eyes" that weigh on the order of 20mg or so.

@PAS- There are some people trying that. In my opinion, though, we should still be trying to build our own platforms because eventually we can not only achieve much of what biology performs (in some areas, not in all areas!) but we can probably improve upon them. Biology hasn't evolved rotors or propellors, for example, both of which can yield more efficient propulsion than flapping wings. (Though for dealing with heavy turbulence, flapping wings are unmatched.)
Comment by bGatti on September 8, 2010 at 11:41am
The Article is not very clear about how this device does what they say it does.
Comment by Dave Buckley on September 8, 2010 at 2:49pm
In case someone knows what they're looking for in this device, I have found some higher resolution images.

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