Designing and Engineering Next Generation Nature-Inspired Aerial Robots

来源:机械工程学院  作者:高宏力     日期:2019/5/8 10:34:38   点击数:1033  

时间:2019-05-12 13:30


报告人:Shaohui Foong博士



Unmanned aerial crafts have traditionally sought the inspiration of birds and insects to achieve flight, but nature has another source of achieving flight: Trees! The maple tree employs a highly efficient mechanism for dispersal of their seeds using a wing-shaped seed and a flight mechanic known as autorotation. This mechanism can be analysed and capitalized in the design of novel and highly efficient unmanned aerial crafts which are also inherently safe where they can autorotate and descend to the ground in a controlled manner without power. Such designs also have the added mechanical advantage of not featuring any intricate mechanisms or delicate wings and allow it to operate robustly in the field. One such design is the Transformable HOvering Rotorcraft (THOR), which has been uniquely engineered to combine the range and speed of a horizontal flying platform with the hovering and manoeuvrability of a rotor-wing (just like a maple seed). This design, unlike any other hybrid UAV, maintains full utilization of all aerodynamic surfaces and propulsion sources in both flight modes and represents the most structurally efficient approach to achieving a cruising mode and a hovering mode on the same frame.


Dr Foong Shaohui is an Associate Professor in the Engineering Product Development (EPD) pillar at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and Visiting Academician at the Changi General Hospital. He is currently the principal investigator for the Aerial Innovation Research (AIR) Laboratory @ SUTD and actively pursues research in unmanned systems and robotics. One of his ongoing projects is centred on developing nature inspired aerial crafts which adapts the dispersal mechanism of maple seeds to achieve efficient flight. This under-actuated configuration is a true hybrid between fixed-wing aerial crafts and multi-rotors: It is able to perform vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) as well as possess flight endurance similar to that of fixed-wing crafts.