Magnetically Levitated Insect Flight Mill For Forward Flight Control Analysis

Open Access
Delacato, Carl Henry
Area of Honors:
Mechanical Engineering
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Bo Cheng, Thesis Supervisor
  • Zoubeida Ounaies, Honors Advisor
  • Insect
  • Flight
  • Mechanical
  • Engineering
Insects are able to achieve unprecedented flight maneuverability and stability in highly dynamic and uncertain environments. This unique flight ability is made possible due to the intricate control of flapping wing motion and the use of unsteady aerodynamics through fast coordination of neural sensing, control, and muscular actuation systems. Gaining a better understanding of these highly stable, maneuverable and arguably energy efficient flying machines and how they interact with nature will be a key factor in developing future generations of unparalleled biomimetic robots with greater adaptability and maneuverability in complex and unstructured environments. Currently, there are limited resources available for conducting research that is capable of producing the analysis needed to develop engineering models of these complex flying machines in forward flight. The purpose of this thesis is to develop a magnetically levitated insect flight mill that will serve as a platform for acquiring the data necessary to conduct the analysis of insect forward flight. The novel magnetically levitated insect flight mill design is presented in the following thesis. In addition, sample data is presented to show the capabilities of using a magnetically levitated insect flight mill for extracting insect forward flight dynamics and control mechanisms.