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Performance Characterization of Multifunctional Wings With Integrated Flexible Batteries for Flapping Wing Unmanned Air Vehicles

[+] Author Affiliations
Alex Holness, Ella Steins, Hugh Bruck, Martin Peckerar

University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD

S. K. Gupta

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Paper No. DETC2016-60379, pp. V05AT07A073; 10 pages
  • ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5A: 40th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, August 21–24, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5015-2
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


In this work, we investigate the integration of ultrathin galvanic cell batteries with high energy density and flexibility into the highly deformable wings of the flapping wing air vehicle (FWAV) known as “Robo Raven” that we previously developed for independent wing control. The goal of this research was to create a multifunctional wing structure that provides higher energy density than the existing, singular function, lithium polymer batteries currently being used to power the platform. The key areas of inquiry explored are the effect the integration of batteries has on the aerodynamic forces generated during flapping under simulated flight conditions, and whether there is an adverse effect on flight performance where the platform payload capacity is diminished for similar flight time. Upon investigation, we determine that the electrical performance of the battery is as expected after integration into the wing structure, while force generation is not significantly affected, which enhances flight time enhancement and/or payload capacity.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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