20 min) is to develop a 'perch-and-stare' design, which suggests a helicopter, a ducted fan or an entomopter
(insect-like winged device), innovative work in the rotary-wing field includes the US Naval Research Laboratory Samara, which employs two single-blade contra-rotating rotors that are stopped to form a fixed wing in forward flight.
Georgia Tech engineers are on the verge of test-flying their insect-like MAV, which they call an entomopter
. Guess it won't need a runway!
Robert Michelson, a principal research engineer at GTRI, has taken an unconventional approach to development of a MAV, by creating a robotic flying insect, or entomopter, as he refers to it.
Michelson's entomopter is designed to be used indoors.
Michelson's entomopter departs from the conventional designs by incorporating flapping wings as its propulsive mechanism.
A typical flight mission envisioned by Michelson is to fly his entomopter a short distance within a building and land somewhere near the final destination.
Michelson has demonstrated proof-of-concept devices for his entomopter and expects to fly a full-up mockup in straight level flight this summer.
Although the researchers have made a plastic scale model of the entomopter, they have yet to miniaturize the motor sufficiently.
However, because Mars' gravity is only 37 percent of Earth's, the entomopter should still be able to carry a payload of up to 1.5 kilograms of scientific equipment.
To make the entomopter especially efficient, the researchers are planning other innovations.
Also, by being vented through strategically placed openings on the wings, those gases will steer the entomopter and squeeze more lift out of the flapping-wing design.
"People will see the benefits [of aircraft], and then further-out technology like the entomopter will be the next generation," Colozza predicts.