Robohub.org
 

Bristol scientists develop insect-sized flying robots with flapping wings

by
03 February 2022



share this:

Front view of the flying robot. Image credit: Dr Tim Helps

This new advance, published in the journal Science Robotics, could pave the way for smaller, lighter and more effective micro flying robots for environmental monitoring, search and rescue, and deployment in hazardous environments.

Until now, typical micro flying robots have used motors, gears and other complex transmission systems to achieve the up-and-down motion of the wings. This has added complexity, weight and undesired dynamic effects.

Taking inspiration from bees and other flying insects, researchers from Bristol’s Faculty of Engineering, led by Professor of Robotics Jonathan Rossiter, have successfully demonstrated a direct-drive artificial muscle system, called the Liquid-amplified Zipping Actuator (LAZA), that achieves wing motion using no rotating parts or gears.

The LAZA system greatly simplifies the flapping mechanism, enabling future miniaturization of flapping robots down to the size of insects.

In the paper, the team show how a pair of LAZA-powered flapping wings can provide more power compared with insect muscle of the same weight, enough to fly a robot across a room at 18 body lengths per second.

They also demonstrated how the LAZA can deliver consistent flapping over more than one million cycles, important for making flapping robots that can undertake long-haul flights.

The team expect the LAZA to be adopted as a fundamental building block for a range of autonomous insect-like flying robots.

Dr Tim Helps, lead author and developer of the LAZA system said: “With the LAZA, we apply electrostatic forces directly on the wing, rather than through a complex, inefficient transmission system. This leads to better performance, simpler design, and will unlock a new class of low-cost, lightweight flapping micro-air vehicles for future applications, like autonomous inspection of off-shore wind turbines.”

Professor Rossiter added: “Making smaller and better performing flapping wing micro robots is a huge challenge. LAZA is an important step toward autonomous flying robots that could be as small as insects and perform environmentally critical tasks such as plant pollination and exciting emerging roles such as finding people in collapsed buildings.”



tags: , , ,


University of Bristol is one of the most popular and successful universities in the UK.
University of Bristol is one of the most popular and successful universities in the UK.





Related posts :



Open Robotics Launches the Open Source Robotics Alliance

The Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF) is pleased to announce the creation of the Open Source Robotics Alliance (OSRA), a new initiative to strengthen the governance of our open-source robotics so...

Robot Talk Episode 77 – Patricia Shaw

In the latest episode of the Robot Talk podcast, Claire chatted to Patricia Shaw from Aberystwyth University all about home assistance robots, and robot learning and development.
18 March 2024, by

Robot Talk Episode 64 – Rav Chunilal

In the latest episode of the Robot Talk podcast, Claire chatted to Rav Chunilal from Sellafield all about robotics and AI for nuclear decommissioning.
31 December 2023, by

AI holidays 2023

Thanks to those that sent and suggested AI and robotics-themed holiday videos, images, and stories. Here’s a sample to get you into the spirit this season....
31 December 2023, by and

Faced with dwindling bee colonies, scientists are arming queens with robots and smart hives

By Farshad Arvin, Martin Stefanec, and Tomas Krajnik Be it the news or the dwindling number of creatures hitting your windscreens, it will not have evaded you that the insect world in bad shape. ...
31 December 2023, by

Robot Talk Episode 63 – Ayse Kucukyilmaz

In the latest episode of the Robot Talk podcast, Claire chatted to Ayse Kucukyilmaz from the University of Nottingham about collaboration, conflict and failure in human-robot interactions.
31 December 2023, by





Robohub is supported by:




Would you like to learn how to tell impactful stories about your robot or AI system?


scicomm
training the next generation of science communicators in robotics & AI


©2024 - Association for the Understanding of Artificial Intelligence


 












©2021 - ROBOTS Association