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Design of Rack-Pinion Mechanism for Insect Mimicking Flapping-Wing Micro Air Vehicle

Tuan Anh Nguyen, Hoang Vu Phan, Quang Duy Nguyen, Hoon Cheol Park


In this work, we present a simple but robust flapping-wing mechanism, which is able to flap with a large flapping angle range. In the design, a combination of the Scotchyoke and rack-pinion mechanisms was employed to convert the rotational motion of a motor into a large flapping motion. Three gear ratios 12:1, 16:1 and 20:1 were considered in this study. A series of flapping tests were conducted to find out a gear ratio for which the flapping frequency and the power consumption are optimal. From these experimental results, the gear ratio 16:1 was identified and then used in performance tests. The proposed mechanism was compared to a pulley-string mechanism in terms of thrust generation and power consumption. The flapping system based on the rack-pinion mechanism showed improvement in the flapping frequency and thrust-to-power ratio.

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