Design Innovation Paper

Design of a Flapping Wing Mechanism to Coordinate Both Wing Swing and Wing Pitch

[+] Author and Article Information
Peter L. Wang

Robotics and Automation Laboratory,
University of California,
Irvine, CA 92697
e-mail: wangpl1@uci.edu

J. Michael McCarthy

Robotics and Automation Laboratory,
University of California,
Irvine, CA 92697
e-mail: jmmccart@uci.edu

Manuscript received September 22, 2017; final manuscript received December 6, 2017; published online January 29, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Andrew P. Murray.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 10(2), 025003 (Jan 29, 2018) (6 pages) Paper No: JMR-17-1316; doi: 10.1115/1.4038979 History: Received September 22, 2017; Revised December 06, 2017

This paper presents a design procedure to achieve a flapping wing mechanism for a micro-air vehicle that coordinates both the wing swing and wing pitch with one actuator. The mechanism combines a planar four-bar linkage with a spatial four-bar linkage attached to the input and output links forming a six-bar linkage. The planar four-bar linkage was designed to control the wing swing trajectory profile and the spatial four-bar linkage was designed to coordinate the pitch of the wing to the swing movement. Tolerance zones were specified around the accuracy points, which were then sampled to generate a number of design candidates. The result was 29 designs that achieve the desired coordination of wing swing and pitch, and a prototype was constructed.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME
Topics: Wings , Linkages , Design
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Keennon, M. , Klingebiel, K. , Won, H. , and Andriukov, A. , 2012, “Development of the Nano Hummingbird: A Tailless Flapping Wing Micro Air Vehicle,” AIAA Paper No. 2012-0588.
Taha, H. E. , Nayfeh, A. H. , and Hajj, M. R. , 2014, “Effect of the Aerodynamic-Induced Parametric Excitation on the Longitudinal Stability of Hovering Mavs/Insects,” Nonlinear Dyn., 78(4), pp. 2399–2408. [CrossRef]
Taha, H. E. , Tahmasian, S. , Woolsey, C. A. , Nayfeh, A. H. , and Hajj, M. R. , 2015, “The Need for Higher-Order Averaging in the Stability Analysis of Hovering Mavs/Insects,” Bioinspiration Biomimetics, 10(1), p. 016002. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Ma, K. , Chirarattananon, P. , Fuller, S. , and Wood, R. , 2013, “Controlled Flight of a Biologically Inspired, Insect-Scale Robot,” Science, 340(6132), pp. 603–607.
Yan, J. , Avadhanula, S. , Birch, J. , Dickinson, M. , Sitti, M. , Su, T. , and Fearing, R. , 2001, “Wing Transmission for a Micromechanical Flying Insect,” J. Micromechatronics, 1(3), pp. 221–237. [CrossRef]
Conn, A. T. , Burgess, S. C. , and Ling, C. S. , 2007, “Design of a Parallel Crank-Rocker Flapping Mechanism for Insect-Inspired Micro Air Vehicles,” Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng., Part C, 221(10), pp. 1211–1222. [CrossRef]
Balta, M. , Ahmed, K. A. , Wang, P. L. , McCarthy, J. M. , and Taha, H. E. , 2017, “Design and Manufacturing of Flapping Wing Mechanisms for Micro Air Vehicles,” AIAA Paper No. 2017-0509.
John, G. , Alex, H. , Ariel, P.-R. , Luke, R. , Adrian, G. , Eli, B. , Johannes, K. , Deepak, L. , Yeh, C.-H. , Bruck, H. A. , and Satyandra, G. K. , 2014, “Robo Raven: A Flapping-Wing Air Vehicle With Highly Compliant and Independently Controlled Wings,” Soft Rob., 1(4), pp. 275–288. [CrossRef]
Ramezani, A. , Chung, S.-J. , and Hutchinson, S. , 2017, “A Biomimetic Robotic Platform to Study Flight Specializations of Bats,” Sci. Rob., 2(3), p. eaal2505.
Svoboda, A. , 1948, Computing Mechanisms and Linkages, McGraw-Hill, New York.
Freudenstein, F. , 1954, “An Analytical Approach to the Design of Four-Link Mechanisms,” Trans. ASME, 76(3), pp. 483–492.
Brodell, R. J. , and Soni, A. , 1970, “Design of the Crank-Rocker Mechanism With Unit Time Ratio,” J. Mech., 5(1), pp. 1–4. [CrossRef]
Denavit, J. , and Hartenberg, R. S. , 1960, “Approximate Synthesis of Spatial Linkages,” ASME J. Appl. Mech., 27(1), pp. 201–206. [CrossRef]
Suh, C. H. , and Radcliffe, C. W. , 1978, Kinematics and Mechanisms Design, Wiley, New York.
Innocenti, C. , 1995, “Polynomial Solution of the Spatial Burmester Problem,” ASME J. Mech. Des., 117(1), pp. 64–68. [CrossRef]
McCarthy, J. M. , and Soh, G. S. , 2010, Geometric Design of Linkages, Vol. 11, Springer Science & Business Media, New York.
Sandor, G. N. , Xu, L. J. , and Yang, S. P. , 1986, “Computer-Aided Synthesis of Two-Closed-Loop RSSR-SS Spatial Motion Generator With Branching and Sequence Constraints,” Mech. Mach. Theory, 21(4), pp. 345–350. [CrossRef]
Chiang, C. H. , Yang, Y.-N. , and Chieng, W. H. , 1994, “Four-Position Synthesis for Spatial Mechanisms With Two Independent Loops,” Mech. Mach. Theory, 29(2), pp. 265–279. [CrossRef]
Chung, W.-Y. , 2015, “Synthesis of Spatial Mechanism UR-2SS for Path Generation,” ASME J. Mech. Rob., 7(4), p. 041009. [CrossRef]
Yan, Z. , Taha, H. E. , and Hajj, M. R. , 2015, “Effects of Aerodynamic Modeling on the Optimal Wing Kinematics for Hovering MAVs,” Aerosp. Sci. Technol., 45, pp. 39–49. [CrossRef]
Hartenberg, R. S. , and Denavit, J. , 1964, Kinematic Synthesis of Linkages, McGraw-Hill, New York.


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

The wing swing and wing pitch functions

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Comparison of the task swing function q(θ) and the output of the swing mechanism γ¯(θ)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

The six-bar mechanism is composed of the spatial RSSR and planar four-bar mechanisms. The frames of reference used to define the rotation axes are shown.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

The plot of a noncontinuous solution

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

The required pitch path versus selected pitch path

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Physical model of the flapping wing mechanism

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Gear train and input cranks of the physical model of the flapping wing mechanism

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

The planar mechanism NGED

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Planar spatial flapping wing mechanism

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Solid model of the full flapping wing assembly

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

The SolidWorks pitch angle versus required pitch path versus selected pitch path



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In