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EVA - Entomoptère Volant Autonome

Project Coordinator : Nicolas MARCHAND

Project realized thanks to the support of : ANR Thématique (Sciences et Technologies de l'Information et de la Communication)

Start date : 2009/01/01

Duration : 60 mounths


Web site : http://www.gipsa-lab.fr/eva/index.html

The project deals with the problem of building and giving autonomy (in terms of energy, sensor, and auto-piloting). The project follows a previous ANR project named OVMI. The scale of the robot insect is centimetric, that is a little more than the first artificial insects developped in the world (Harvard, MFI, OVMI), but the project aims to investigate how to put intelligence and autonomy in such robots.


The EVA project stands within the framework of researches conducted throughout the world that aim to develop the fourth generation of flying robots. These vehicles having a wingspan smaller than 10 cm represent a technological break that this project aims to address by means of a biomimetic approach : the flapping flight. With respect to the existing projects like the MFI in California (the MFI of R. S. Fearing) or R. J. Wood's fly at Harvard, we propose to develop a prototype slightly heavier (wingspan around 8 cm and weight near 1 gram). The goal of this positioning is to relax the realization and integration constraints arising in white rooms microfabrication processes so that we can achieve a mesorobot with autonomy in terms of energy and perception-action abilities. This robot will be able to hover and to avoid obstacles using an embedded optic flow micro-sensor (in a posture with constrained degrees of freedom). All these points would be a real advance since no team in the world achieved this challenge today. The thorax and the wings will be done without articulations by the design and the optimization of a flexible structure thus making the machine lighter, more effective and robust with respect to shocks, inevitable with these dimensions (high sensitivity to the disturbances like the wind, the rain, etc). The problems related to fluid-structure modeling will be addressed allowing an optimization of kinematics of the wings in order to improve the robot's thrust. In order to achieve these goals, we constitute today a multidisciplinary consortium of seven laboratories or public research organizations distributed on four CNRS sections : "life sciences" (ISM: for the biomimetic sensor and obstacle avoidance), "information technologies and communication" (IRCCYN, GIPSA-lab: robotics and control), "micro-nanotechnologies, electronics, photonic, electromagnetism and electric power" (SATIE for embarked energy and FANO for actuation) and "materials, structures, solid mechanics and acoustics" (FANO for actuation). In addition to these competences, comes the expertise of the ONERA in flight mechanics and the one of the CEA in flexible structure design. Specific subcontracting on the sensors near physicists and of fluid mechanics simulations near fluid mechanics specialists are also planned.


GIPSA-lab, 11 rue des Mathématiques, Grenoble Campus BP46, F-38402 SAINT MARTIN D'HERES CEDEX - 33 (0)4 76 82 71 31