Development of a Robotic Hummingbird Capable of Controlled Hover Conference Paper uri icon


  • 2017 AHS International. This paper details the design, development, and flight testing of a 62-g hummingbird-inspired flapping wing micro air vehicle with hovering capability. The key barriers overcome in the development of this vehicle included optimizing the wing design via aeroelastic tailoring techniques, designing insect-based wing kinematic modulation mechanisms for control and stabilization, trimming, and implementing feedback control during flight. Additionally, a five-bar linkage system was developed to generate large flap-stroke amplitudes, and thus sufficient lift for hover at moderate flapping frequencies (25 Hz). Systematic experimental studies were utilized to design lightweight (0.8 g) flexible wings, and a fabrication technique was developed to ensure that the wings could be reproduced consistently. The wing kinematic modulation mechanisms, which change the magnitude and direction of the lift vectors during flight, are controlled via a custom-built kinematic autopilot that senses the vehicle dynamics and transmits corrective signals to the mechanism actuators. This has led to several flight experiments in which the vehicle has successfully demonstrated stability and hover capability.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Coleman, D., Benedict, M., Hirishikeshaven, V., & Chopra, I.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Coleman, David||Benedict, Moble||Hirishikeshaven, Vikram||Chopra, Inderjit

publication date

  • July 2017