“Flapping Toward the Future”
Vibrational stability is a natural phenomenon where a system, if vibrating at sufficiently high frequencies, can bring itself back into a stable state if perturbed. This is akin to the high frequency flapping that hummingbirds and insects employ to maintain a hovering position and fly. Micro Air Vehicles (MAV) are a subset of air vehicles that have a size restriction and are commonly used for commercial, military, and reconnaissance purposes where larger devices are not feasible. With the idea of combining vibrational stability with micro air vehicle restrictions, we aim to study and manufacture a mechanism capable of producing this flapping motion and conduct performance testing to compare a manufactured “quadflapper” with more conventional quadcopters/drones.
The project aims to study the idea of vibrational stability and apply this to a real-world application. This real-world testing will be done through a “quadflapper” which will employ an active pitching angle to further improve upon its stability.
Our team has completed the preliminary manufacturing of a “quadflapper”. Unlike a quadcopter, the quadflapper uses flapping toy birds in place of propellers. Testing for the quadflapper is underway to gauge its performance compared to that of a standard quadcopter. Also, we are developing an active pitching mechanism that will be implemented onto the toy birds to allow control of their pitching angle.
The active pitching angle flapping mechanism and quadflapper could offer better efficiency and/or more maneuverability than a traditional aircraft vehicle. Its small size is useful in military application/reconnaissance. If the theory of vibrational stability holds true for the quadflapper, it could provide a more stable alternative to commercial and private air vehicles.
Name: Bao Pham
Name: Andrew Iwamoto
Name: Wai Hnin Oo
Name: Johnson Ly
Initial Project Information
Field of Interest
Aerodynamics, Controls & Dynamics, Mechanical Design
The project’s objective is to design, fabricate, and fly a micro air vehicle capable of hovering. The vehicle has to be less than 15 cm in length, width, and height.
Maximum Number of Students