|39||Automated launcher release for a flapping wing robotic bat
|# Team Members:
Abhishek Bhandari (anb4)
Kousthubh Dixit (kmdixit2)
Vyom Thakkar (vnt2)
We are working on a project that was pitched by Jonathan Hoff. Jonathan and his research group developed a bio-inspired robotic flapping-wing bat robot that mimics the agility and efficiency of bats using silicone membrane wings. The initial robot launcher that was developed by Jonathan did not control the timing of the launch, which leads to different initial positions of the bat wings which ultimately causes the robot to take different trajectories at launch time.
Video link for the bat robot: https://youtu.be/OfwX6X4Nx20
Video link for launcher release: https://youtu.be/C1epTUGQZ3w
# Solution Overview:
Thus, what we will be working on, is an automated launcher release for the robot that allows the user to control the timing of the launch as well as the position of the wings at launch time which ultimately determines the trajectory that the bat robot takes.
# Solution Components:
## [Subsystem #1] Sensors:
We are planning to use about 3-5 IR sensors and 1-2 ultrasonic sensors. They will all be part of our bat launching device. The IR sensors will be spaced equally vertically (we could 3D print a structure to hold it or build it in the machine shop) such that the lowest sensor corresponds to the lowest height that the wing can go down to. The highest IR sensor will be at a height corresponding to the highest point that the wing can reach vertically. The rest of the IR sensors would be at specifically chosen points in the middle. Using the output of the IR sensors and the associated time stamps, we will extrapolate the coordinates of the wings at a given point in time to define 8-10 wing orientations (different heights). The user can choose the specific wing orientation that he wants to launch at using three switches (more on that in the switches section discussion). Ultrasonic sensors will be placed at the bottom at an angle such that its output would be used to corroborate the existing coordinate data of the wings. (Planning to use: URM06 - Analog Ultrasonic Sensor, Oiyagai 5pcs IR Infrared Barrier Module Sensor)
## [Subsystem #2] Motor, batteries and regulator:
A servo motor (Micro Servo - High Powered, High Torque Metal Gear) would be used to flick a switch that would release the tension in the bow that would launch the bat. Additionally, we are planning to use a micro-controller (Arduino), and a boost switching regulator. We intend to power our device using batteries rather than wall supply as the device is going to be used outdoors.
## [Subsystem #3] Switch configuration and control:
In this project the user can control two parameters: the launch delay time and the position of the wings at launch time which in turn determines the trajectory that the bat robot takes. There will be preset desired trajectories of the bat robot based on its wing orientation. These preset trajectories will be enumerated and the user can select the desired one. Our launching system would trigger the launch of the bat when a user chosen wing orientation is met during the flapping of the wing. The user can also specify the launch delay time which will also be preset and enumerated, for example: 5s, 10s, 15s, etc… In order for the user to specify both the launch delay time and the desired trajectory of launch we can use two control knobs (DAVIES #1100) each capable of enumerating seven different possibilities.
# Criterion for Success:
(1) For a given frequency/flapping rate (8.5 Hz) the system must be able to accurately detect the
position of the wings of the robot and trigger a response that launches the robot when
signaled to by a controller.
(2) System must also accurately trigger the launch of the robot after a user-specified period of
time utilizing the switches on the controller.
(3) For a series of 10 launches there should be no more than an error margin of 15% of the
flapping rate in the difference of the launch time between any two of the launches.
(4) The system must be seamlessly integrated with the launcher in order to avoid collisions and
interference with the launch path of the robot.