BOLT: A bipedal ornithopter for studying the dynamics
of hybrid legged/winged locomotion


BOLT, the Bipedal Ornithopter for Locomotion Transitioning, is a lightweight bipedal ornithopter designed for high-speed dynamic running and transitioning between aerial and terrestrial locomotion modes. The advantages provided by wings in terrestrial locomotion, coupled with aerial capabilities, allow navigating complex three dimensional environments. The robot is fitted with a 6-axis IMU for studying the gait dynamics of both quasi-static and dynamic locomotion modes. The aerodynamic forces of the flapping wings impart passive stability to the robot, enabling bipedal running with a single actuator–a critical feature given the weight constraints on a flying platform. BOLT can transition from running to aerial hovering in as little as one meter of runway.

For additional details, see our IROS 2011 paper - Experimental Dynamics of Wing Assisted Running for a Bipedal Ornithopter