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Active Bend-Twist PZT Actuator for Centimeter-Scale Flapping Wing Micro-Air Vehicle

[+] Author Affiliations
Asha J. Hall

Motile Robotics Inc., Joppa, MD

Jaret C. Riddick

U. S. Army Research Lab, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD

Paper No. SMASIS2011-5085, pp. 113-118; 6 pages
  • ASME 2011 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems
  • ASME 2011 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems, Volume 1
  • Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, September 18–21, 2011
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5471-6
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


The present study focuses on development of a flapping wing micro-air vehicle (FWMAV) that employs a piezoelectric actuator to drive the leading edge of the wing. An analysis of insect flight indicates that in addition to the bending excitation (flapping), simultaneous excitation of the twisting degree-of-freedom is required to adequately manipulate the control surface. A functionally-modified piezoelectric bimorph composed of Pb(Zr0.55 Ti0.45 )O3 (PZT) is being used to produce two degree-of-freedom motion, namely the flapping and twisting facilitated by an off-axis layer of piezoelectric segments affixed to the top surface of a traditional bimorph actuator. The modification of the top surface of a traditional PZT bimorph actuator introduces active bend-twist coupling to the flexural response of the resulting layered PZT. This paper presents analytical and experimental investigation of functionally-modified bimorph designs intended for active bend-twist actuation of cm-scale flapping wing devices.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME
Topics: Actuators , Vehicles , Wings



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