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Autonomous Loitering Control for a Flapping Wing Miniature Aerial Vehicle With Independent Wing Control

[+] Author Affiliations
Luke Roberts, Hugh A. Bruck, Satyandra K. Gupta

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Paper No. DETC2014-34752, pp. V05AT08A013; 10 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5A: 38th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference
  • Buffalo, New York, USA, August 17–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4636-0
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Flapping wing miniature aerial vehicles (FWMAVs) offer advantages over traditional fixed wing or quadrotor MAV platforms because they are more maneuverable than fixed wing aircraft and are more energy efficient than quadrotors, while being quieter than both. Currently, autonomy in FWMAVs has only been implemented in flapping vehicles without independent wing control, limiting their level of control. We have developed Robo Raven IV, a FWMAV platform with independently controllable wings and an actuated tail controlled by an onboard autopilot system. In this paper, we present the details of Robo Raven IV platform along with a control algorithm that uses a GPS, gyroscope, compass, and custom PID controller to autonomously loiter about a predefined point. We show through simulation that this system has the ability to loiter in a 50 meter radius around a predefined location through the manipulation of the wings and tail. A simulation of the algorithm using characterized GPS and tail response error via a PID controller is also developed. Flight testing of Robo Raven IV demonstrated the success of this platform, even in winds of up to 10 mph.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Topics: Aircraft , Wings



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