Novel Elastic Flapping-wings for Micro Air Vehicles

 The technology
Flexible, 3D printed insect-inspired wings that elastically deform during flapping to improve flight performance and efficiency. The deformations are inspired by wings of beetles, adapted for different flight styles 1,2. The passive elastic deformations that the wings undergo during flapping are engineered at the fabrication stage to tailor the wing for specific flight missions including hovering, fast flight, high payloads and maximizing time in air.  
 Potential applications
Flexible wings for flapping UAVs that can withstand collision, have low structural fatigue, optimize flight performance and improve energetic efficiency. The technology primarily applies to small UAVs (wingspan of few cm) that can be flown inside buildings for reconnaissance, search and rescue, and environmental monitoring missions.   
 Stage of Development
We designed, manufactured and tested several wing prototypes to provide a proof of concept. We are currently in the R&D stage towards optimization of the wings for specific flight styles. 
 Intellectual Property
Provisional patent application in preparation
1. Meresman, Y. & Ribak, G. Allometry of wing twist and camber in a flower chafer during free flight: How do wing deformations scale with body size? R. Soc. Open Sci. 4, 171152 (2017).
2. Meresman, Y., Husak, J. F., Ben-Shlomo, R. & Ribak, G. Morphological diversification has led to inter-specific variation in elastic wing deformation during flight in scarab beetles. R. Soc. Open Sci. 7, 200277 (2020).


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