Purdue University develops the most realistic hummingbird robot

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No one believes that the four-rotor is known to everyone, but the further development of the four-rotor drone is its volume and weight. In the current design, the traditional four-rotor drone relies on traditional aerodynamics. It leads to infinity that cannot be manufactured because the smaller the manufacturing, the less lift it can produce to support their weight.

Recently, researchers at Purdue University published a paper on their recent research. Based on the principle of bionics, they developed a hummingbird drone that mimics the movement of hummingbirds and can be manipulated like a robot.

Why do you want to imitate hummingbirds instead of other birds? Hummingbirds fly differently from other birds. It is the only species in the bird that can fly backwards. The hummingbird's body is extremely small. Its flight principle is different from traditional aerodynamics. Hummingbirds can hover in the air by rapidly vibrating their wings. It can vibrate 15 to 80 times per second. Therefore, the researchers designed a new hummingbird robot based on the principle of hummingbird flight.

In fact, research on hummingbird robots began in 198, originally developed by the US Department of Defense's research institute, a hingeless rigid rotor concept machine, the first generation of drones capable of vertical takeoff and landing.

Then in 2009, Japanese scientists developed a real hummingbird robot that can hover in the air and truly mimic the characteristics of hummingbirds. In 2011, the 40-year-old aircraft manufacturing company, AeroVironment in California, developed the "Nano Hummingbird" drone, which was named 50 innovations by Time magazine. One.

The research innovation and the previous research are very different. The Hummingbird UAV developed by Purdue University is controlled by physical simulation and artificial intelligence-derived algorithms. The body is made of 3D printing technology. The wing (170 mm span) is supported by a carbon fiber frame and combined with a laser-cut film for high flexibility and flexibility. Only two actuators are used, one for each wing, with sensors (magnetic sensors, gyroscopes, accelerometers) and MCUs.

The biggest feature of the hummingbird is that it can fly backwards, while yawing 180° and re-stabilizing, the wing beat takes a quarter of a second. Therefore, the control of the robot is very difficult. The researchers carry out the nominal control through the model-based nonlinear control. At the same time, the reinforcement learning is carried out in the simulation training through AI, and the optimization is made to make the system more stable. This method effectively realizes the control. And realizes a quick avoidance action similar to a hummingbird.

In addition to control, the team monitors the motor current while flapping, giving the robot a sense of proximity and tactile sensation. This allows the robot to follow the terrain, along the walls, through narrow corridors.

This hummingbird robot may be used for military investigation, search and rescue, etc., and has a deep research significance to a certain extent. It is expected that domestic researchers will be able to make breakthroughs in this respect.


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