The recent surge of interest in the development of micro air vehicles capable of hovering and fast maneuvering has led to several efforts to develop bio-inspired flapping wing robotic devices inspired by nature. In fact, flying animals such as insects and hummingbirds demonstrate remarkable aerial maneuverability and stability, exceeding those of the conventional fixed or rotary wing aircraft in certain applications. However, the underlying principles of their flight performance are far from being well understood. In the bio-robotics lab, we investigate animal locomotion with the help of robotic devices, fluid experiments, and dynamics and control theories. Meanwhile, we apply the principles of animal locomotion to the development and control of bio-inspired robots capable of hovering and maneuvering in confined spaces. In this talk I will highlight our recent findings on flapping flight including aerodynamics, dynamics and flight control of insect and hummingbirds during fast maneuvers, and the latest bio-inspired insect and hummingbird robots capable of hovering with high frequency flapping wings.
Xinyan Deng is an Associate Professor at the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. She received her B.S. degree from Tianjin University in Electrical Engineering and Automation, and her Ph.D. degree from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley. Her research interest is in the principles ofaerial and aquatic locomotion in animals and the development of bio-inspiredrobotic systems. Working in a highly interdisciplinary field, Dr. Deng collaborates with biologists and her work is published in diverse fields and journals suchas Science, Royal Society Interface,Journal of Experimental Biology, Experiments in Fluids, and IEEE Transactions on Robotics. She received an NSF CAREER Award in 2006 on flying insect and robot research. She received the B.F.S. Schaefer Outstanding Faculty Scholar Award from Purdue University in 2015. She served as the Co-Chair for theTechnical Committee on Bio-robotics of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society from 2009-2013. She has chaired andco-chaired varies NSF workshops, IEEE and ASME conference workshops and symposiums on bio-inspired robotics. Her research is funded by NSF, AFOSR, andAFRL, and as the PI she has received over $2.5M in federal research grants.