The purpose of this research is to clarify the effect of wing veins of a
butterfly on a passive deformation of the wing and a flight performance.
As a new tool making it possible to experiment with arbitral vein structures
at constant flapping motion, we have developed a MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical
Systems) artificial butterfly wing mounted on an ultra-light rubber powered
ornithopter. The artificial butterfly wing consists of a thin polymer
membrane supported by plastic veins of rectangular cross-section of which
thickness and width can be changed as designed. Cross-sectional sizes of the
veins are a few hundred micrometers like an actual butterflyfs veins. Its
planar shape and venation is the same as those of a swallowtail butterfly,
Papilio karna. Other major parameters are in the same range of an actual
butterfly; a total mass of the ornithopter including the wings is 0.39 g,
and a flapping frequency is around 10 Hz. The ornithopter with artificial
butterfly wings successfully flew forward by setting an appropriate center
of gravity. Unlike an experiment with an actual butterfly, we can extract
only the effect of veins on flight by exchanging wings for different ones,
since the flapping motion of the ornithopter is a mechanically constant.
Hiroto Tanaka, Kiyoshi Matsumoto, Isao Shimoyama, gButterfly Ornithopter with Micromolded Wings Having Wing Vein Structure,h
Proceedings of the 20th Bioengineering Conference, pp. 75-76, Tokyo, Japan, January 25-26, 2008.
Hiroto Tanaka, Kiyoshi Matsumoto and Isao Shimoyama, hDesign and performance of micromolded plastic butterfly wings on butterfly ornithopter,h
Proceedings of 2008IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems(IROS2008), pp. 3095-3100, Nice, France, Sep 22-26, 2008.
Hiroto Tanaka, Kiyoshi Matsumoto and Isao Shimoyama, hDefromation and aerodynamic performance of a flapping artificial butterfly wing in free flight,h
Proceedings of SEB at Marseille 2008, S53-54, Marseille, France, July 6-10, 2008.