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FLASH - Flapping Locomotion Adjustable Stiffness Hardware

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
3030 E. 63rd St. #313 Cl, OH -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: FLASH - Flapping Locomotion Adjustable Stiffness Hardware
Agency: DOD
Contract: W911QX-12-C-0120
Award Amount: $99,748.00


BioRobots LLC and University of Delaware propose the development of FLASH the Flapping Locomotion Adjustable Stiffness Hardware. FLASH will be an electro-mechanical device that will 1) efficiently transfer power from the actuator to the wing in a flapping-wing micro air vehicle (MAV), 2) at the end of each stroke, convert the wing"s residual kinetic energy into potential energy, 3) at the beginning of the subsequent stroke, return the stored potential energy to the wing in the form of kinetic energy, and 4) have an adjustable stiffness to perform actions 1-3 efficiently with different wings or actuators and at different wing beat frequencies. The energy efficiency of the flapping behavior will be maximized at a particular system natural frequency. FLASH will facilitate identification of the optimal natural frequency for all manner of actuator/wing pairs. In Phase 1, BioRobots will evaluate a wide range of design concepts, including: stiffness tuning by an embedded ionic liquid controlled by an electric field; beam length variation; varying shape and orientation of capacitor plates for stiffness tunability; and varying the cross-section (and subsequently stiffness) of the structure. BioRobots"goal is to develop FLASH at the scale of a 5 gram MAV for eventual on board implementation.

Principal Investigator:

Richard J. Bachmann
(216) 246-0148

Business Contact:

Roger D. Quinn
Director of Engineering Research
(216) 368-3222
Small Business Information at Submission:

Biorobots, LLC
3030 E. 63rd St. #313 Cl, OH -

EIN/Tax ID: 542078334
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No