The flight of birds or insects has fascinated scholars and physicists for many centuries. Flapping motion, as shown by many nature flyers, is the most efficient way of flying objects whose size are smaller than 6 in. In this paper, we used MEMS technology to fabricate the flapping wings. They are composed of a pure parylene right wing and a PVDF–parylene composite left wing. In the wind-tunnel test, the lift signals from both PVDF (polyvinylidene fluoride) and the load-cell have similar qualitative behavior. The PVDF sensor could only export the lift signals from the left wing. By comparing to the total lift signal picked by the load-cell from the wind-tunnel facility, we can calculate out and separate the lift contributions by left and right wing, respectively. Therefore, we found a new design methodology to adjust the aerodynamic performance of MAV by changing the phase lag between the two flapping wings by fine tuning of the mechanism linkages. After integrating lithium battery into the MAV, it can perform a free flight with a range of 10–15 m. Finally, the MAV had a successful flight via wireless control with a range of 40 m and a total flight time of 10 s.
Sensors and Actuators A: Physical 139(1-2), pp.95-103