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Optimizing the structure and movement of a robotic bat with biological kinematic synergies

Hoff, Jonathan and Ramezani, Alireza and Chung, Soon-Jo and Hutchinson, Seth (2018) Optimizing the structure and movement of a robotic bat with biological kinematic synergies. International Journal of Robotics Research, 37 (10). pp. 1233-1252. ISSN 0278-3649.

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In this article, we present methods to optimize the design and flight characteristics of a biologically inspired bat-like robot. In previous, work we have designed the topological structure for the wing kinematics of this robot; here we present methods to optimize the geometry of this structure, and to compute actuator trajectories such that its wingbeat pattern closely matches biological counterparts. Our approach is motivated by recent studies on biological bat flight that have shown that the salient aspects of wing motion can be accurately represented in a low-dimensional space. Although bats have over 40 degrees of freedom (DoFs), our robot possesses several biologically meaningful morphing specializations. We use principal component analysis (PCA) to characterize the two most dominant modes of biological bat flight kinematics, and we optimize our robot’s parametric kinematics to mimic these. The method yields a robot that is reduced from five degrees of actuation (DoAs) to just three, and that actively folds its wings within a wingbeat period. As a result of mimicking synergies, the robot produces an average net lift improvesment of 89% over the same robot when its wings cannot fold.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Ramezani, Alireza0000-0002-3391-5288
Chung, Soon-Jo0000-0002-6657-3907
Hutchinson, Seth0000-0002-3949-6061
Additional Information:© The Author(s) 2017. Article first published online: November 11, 2018; Issue published: September 1, 2018. We would like to thank the team of graduate and undergraduate students from aerospace, electrical, computer, and mechanical engineering departments at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for their contribution to construct the initial prototype of B2. The biological motion capture data set was provided by Kenneth Breuer and Sharon Swartz from Brown University. We greatly appreciate their insights and helpfulness in this project. We would like to thank them in their assistance with this, as well as José Iriarte-Díaz for compiling the data. The experimental results were performed in the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory (IRL) of the Coordinated Science Laboratory Studio. This research was supported by NSF Grant 1427111.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Aerial robotics, biologically-inspired robots, kinematics
Issue or Number:10
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180713-074446939
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Official Citation:Hoff, J., Ramezani, A., Chung, S.-J., & Hutchinson, S. (2018). Optimizing the structure and movement of a robotic bat with biological kinematic synergies. The International Journal of Robotics Research, 37(10), 1233–1252.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:87816
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:13 Jul 2018 16:22
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 20:00

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