Abstract

In this paper we report on the design of an apparatus to study the force distribution on flapping wings during hovering. We designed the system to use a well-known optical technique that measures the deflection of a wing along the wingspan using high speed cameras. Our motivation is to understand the generated aerodynamic forces on flapping wings to be able to design and control flapping flight robots. We are inspired in particular by the wing motion of hummingbirds and dragonflies. Dragonflies have two wings that move at an offset distance from each other and have the ability to rotate about its longitudinal axis in order to change the azimuth angle during its flapping motion. The knowledge gained from such a study can be used to design flapping wing flying robots.

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