Design and Development of a Bio-Inspired Flying Drone
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This thesis presents the design, development, and testing of a bio-inspired drone with morphing wing capabilities to enhance flight performance and versatility by mimicking the adaptability of natural fliers. The research methodology comprises an iterative design, prototyping, and testing process to explore different morphing wing mechanisms and building materials to optimize such a system. An initial morphing mechanism involving a cogwheel-based system evolved into a sliding rack system to efficiently reduce the wing area of a fixed-wing drone. Throughout its development, the drone’s fragility posed a challenge due to multiple crashes during test flights. However, these tests provided insight into the performance and flight characteristics of the drone and underscored the importance of a sufficiently planned operation. The fourth test flight demonstrated the effective operation of the morphing mechanism during flight, enabling the drone to roll in both directions by reducing the wing area on the opposite side. In the end, this project demonstrated the potential of utilizing morphing wing capabilities for fixed-wing drones and provided a possible application for use in micro drones, where they could be able to adapt to their environment and withstand challenging conditions. The research laid a foundation for the future development of similar drones. Furthermore, future improvements that could optimize and enhance the drone’s performance are discussed to continue the development of a drone inspired by nature’s most adept fliers.