Lessons from insects for the design of Nano Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (NUAV)

Subject: Lessons from insects for the design of Nano Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (NUAV)
Faculties: Faculty of Aerospace Engineering
Researchers: Distinguished Professor Daniel Weihs and Senior Research Associate Gal Ribak

Abstract:

Nano unmanned vehicles will have to use flapping wings to combine the functions of lift and propulsion, including vertical takeoff and landing, and extreme maneuverability employing novel aerodynamic principles. We are attempting to learn these principles from beetle flight as these insects carry a relatively heavy load  unrelated to flight. We study two extreme examples within the order Coleoptera (beetles): the Goliath beetle(Goliathus spp.) is the heaviest existing flying insect with a body mass of up to 50 g and wing span of 19 cm. In contrast beetle members of the family Ptiliidae (a.k.a. “Feathered-wings beetles”) are among the smallest (0.5 mg, 0.2 mm,), and have comb-wings of the type developed at Technion for NUAVs. Each of these insects, in different ways, will contribute important data for the design of  NUAVs. Additionally, combining the insights from the study of both insects sheds light on the size limits in flapping flight.