Electrical Engineering
      and Computer Sciences

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences


UC Berkeley


2009 Research Summary

MFI: The Micromechanical Flying Insect

View Current Project Information

Erik Edward Steltz, Ronald S. Fearing and Stanley Seunghoon Baek

National Science Foundation IIS-0412541, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and ONR/MURI N00014-98-1-0671

The continuing work on the Micromechanical Flying Insect (MFI) aims to produce a 100 mg micro air vehicle with a wingspan of approximately 25 mm. Fundamental work by Dickinson et al. [1,2] showed the complicated unstable aerodynamics relied upon for small scale flapping flight. However, the unique wing stroke required for the necessary lift forces has not been achievable until recent advancements in MFI design.

Some of the most recent work has developed a lightweight control and power electronics board for tethered autonomous flight [3]. Further advancements in the technology have focused on optimizing the power output of our piezoelectric actuators by using a resonant dynamometer as a measurement tool.

Please see http://robotics.eecs.berkeley.edu/~ronf/mfi.html for more information. for current information.

Figure 1
Figure 1: Piezoelectric bending actuator (left) and 4DOF, 2 wing Micromechanical Flying Insect (right)

M. H. Dickinson, F. O. Lehmann, and S. P. Sane, "Wing Rotation and the Aerodynamic Basis of Insect Flight," Science, Vol. 284, June 1999, pp. 1954-1960.
S. P. Sane and M. H. Dickinson, "The Aerodynamic Effects of Wing Rotation and a Revised Quasi-Steady Model of Flapping Flight," Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 205, 2002, pp. 1087-96.
E. Steltz, M. Seeman, S. Avadhanula, and R. S. Fearing, "Power Electronics Design Choice for Piezoelectric Microrobots," IROS 2006, Beijing, China (to appear).