Trajectory planning for a bat-like flapping wing robot


Planning flight trajectories is important for practical application of flying systems. This topic has been well studied for fixed and rotary winged aerial vehicles, but far fewer works have explored it for flapping systems. Bat Bot (B2) is a bio-inspired flying robot that mimics bat flight, and it possesses the ability to follow a designed trajectory with its on-board electronics and sensing. However, B2’s periodic flapping and its complex aerodynamics present major challenges in modeling and planning feasible flight paths. In this paper, we present a generalized approach that uses a model with direct collocation methods to plan dynamically feasible flight maneuvers. The model is made to be both accurate through collection of load cell force data for parameter selection and computationally inexpensive such that it can be used efficiently in a nonlinear solver. We compute the trajectory of launching B2 to a desired altitude and a banked turn maneuver, and we validate our methods with experimental flight results of tracking the launch trajectory with a PD controller.

2019 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)