Longitudinal flight across Tokyo Bay by drone and future prospects

Dr. Kenzo Nonami
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Chiba University, Japan
Autonomous Control Systems Laboratory, Ltd. (ACSL)

Abstract

On June 21, 2021, ARF (Advanced Robotics Foundation) and its affiliates succeeded in fully autonomous flying across Tokyo Bay with a flight distance of 50 km between Yokohama and Chiba, Japan. It was a complete BVLOS flight without an any observer of Tokyo Bay by small drone like kite plane of 24kg.  A drone connects Yokohama and Chiba, which are big cities of Yokohama with 4 million population and Chiba with 1 million, by using the ultra-low airspace over Tokyo Bay. It was a demonstration experiment to build a distribution highway. We actually transported implants and dental technicians worth 500,000 yen. It is also an emergency drone that can carry out the mission as a disaster prevention and mitigation system for earthquakes and typhoon as natural disaster. It took two years from the conception. It means that the technical hurdles for safely flying a long distance of 50 km in Tokyo Bay, where there is Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) and many large ships go around, are extremely high. And it was not easy to get a flight permit from the Civil Aviation Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan. In this presentation, the introduction of the progress in the previous two years including technical issues, the future plans and prospects will be presented.

Short-bio Sketch

Dr. Kenzo Nonami received Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1979 from Tokyo Metropolitan University. He was a research scientist and a senior research scientist at NASA in USA from 1985 to 1988. After that he became an associate professor from 1988 to 1994. Since 1994, he has been a full professor in Department of Mechanical Engineering at Chiba University. Dr. Kenzo Nonami was in charge of Vice President of Chiba University from 2008 to 2014. Dr. Nonami organized ICIUS 2011 in Chiba, Japan. Their high quality papers are published by Springer book which title is Autonomous Control Systems and Vehicles, edited by K. Nonami etc, 2013. Dr. Nonami founded the startup company in 2013 called “Autonomous Control Systems Laboratory, Ltd.(ACSL)” and CEO of this company. Also, ACSL listed the stock on the Tokyo Stock Exchange as IPO in December, 2018. Dr. Nonami is a chairman of Japan drone consortium which includes more than 300 companies and he founded Advanced Robotics Foundation in June, 2019 as a president. ARF is focusing on the development of a new vertical takeoff and landing type unmanned airframe with a flight distance of 100 km or more, a payload of 5 kg or more, and a flight speed of 150 km / h or more for logistics and disaster response.

Adaptive fault diagnosis and reconfiguration control with flight control applications

Professor Bin Jiang
College of Automation Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, P.R. China

Abstract

Based on the background of the flight control systems, this talk focuses on the topic of adaptive fault accommodation for complex dynamic systems, and introduces a series of results of fault detection, estimation and accommodation for continuous time, hybrid systems and multi-agent systems. Their applications on the hot issues of satellites, near space vehicles, helicopters are investigated. Some perspectives along this direction are provided.

Short-bio Sketch

Bin Jiang received the Ph.D. degree in Automatic Control from Northeastern University, Shenyang, China, in 1995. He had ever been postdoctoral fellow, research fellow, invited professor and visiting professor in Singapore, France, USA and Canada, respectively. Now he is a Chair Professor of Cheung Kong Scholar Program in Ministry of Education and Vice President in Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China. He has served as Subject Editor of Int. J. Control. Automaton and Systems, Associate Editor or Editorial Board Member for a number of journals such as IEEE Trans. On Cybernetics, IEEE Trans. On Control Systems Technology; Neurocomputing, J. of Franklin Institute, etc. He is a Fellow of IEEE, Chair of Control Systems Chapter in IEEE Nanjing Section, a member of IFAC Technical Committee on Fault Detection, Supervision, and Safety of Technical Processes. His research interests include intelligent fault diagnosis and fault tolerant control and their applications to helicopters, satellites and high-speed trains.

He has been the principle investigator on several projects of National Natural Science Foundation of China. He is the author of 8 books and over 100 referred international journal papers. He won National Natural Science Award of China.

Design and Control of a Camber Morphing Wing Aircraft

Associate Professor, Bruce W. Jo, Ph.D.
Department of Mechanical Engineering at State University of New York (SUNY), USA & Korea

Abstract

Wing morphing technologies in general aim to optimize aircraft’ efficiency by changing and adjusting the shape of wings in compliance to corresponding flight conditions. Among many types of wing morphing, suggested variable camber compliant morphing in airfoil morphing enables aircraft to have seamless, conformal, and energy and noise effective change of wing geometry that significantly reduces drag force or lift-drag ratio. Unlike typical approaches of using smart materials or partial morphing of trailing-edge, mechanism-driven camber morphing wing via linear actuators enables fixed wing aircraft wing to adjust camber rates conformally, dynamically, and firmly along the wing span. For realization of actual flight and control of camber morphing wing aircraft, it is of interest (1) to investigate the nature of structural and aerodynamical behaviors of camber morphing wings while flight, (2) to study difference and similarity between the conventional wing and the camber morphing wings in control aspects, (3) to design and implement the skin structure of camber morphing wings along with characteristics of 3D printed structure. This presentation covers overview of morphing technologies, motivation and benefits of camber morphing, design of control allocation aspect of camber morphing wings, and design and implementation of skin structure for camber morphing wings with perspectives of 3D/4D printing.

Short-bio Sketch

Dr. Bruce W. Jo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at State University of New York (SUNY), Stony Brook University in NY and Korea. Before, he was a tenured Associate Professor at Tennessee State University (TSU), Nashville TN in 2018. A year later, he did his first sabbatical year at ORNL (Oak Ridge National Laboratory), Knoxville TN focused on 3D/4D manufacturing technology. Before he joined it in fall 2014 at TSU, he was working as a tenure-track Assistant Professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University during 2011-2014 and Florida State University as Research Associate during 2010-2011. His main research interests are 1) design and control of morphorous structures (4D printing), 2) design of flight control systems, and 3) dynamics/kinematics and mechanism design of mechanical systems in the applications of aerospace, mechanical, and robotic systems. He earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University, NY in 2010, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from New York University, NY in 2006 respectively.

Collision recovery of a beetle-inspired flapping-wing robot

Dr. Hoang-Vu Phan
1Department of Smart Vehicle Engineering, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea
2Current address: Laboratory of Intelligent Systems, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland

Abstract

Rhinoceros beetle is one of the largest insects that performs many remarkable modes of locomotion such as flying, crawling, and even burrowing their way underground. In addition, their hindwings can be folded and tucked under the elytra for protection when at rest, and unfolded to operate as flat membranes that generate the aerodynamic forces required for flight. The beetle thus is a good reference for developing a similar-scale flapping-wing robot. In this talk, we first introduce the 16 g beetle-inspired, motor-driven, KUBeetle-S robot, which is truly insect-like in terms of tailless and two-winged configuration, attitude control approach, and hovering flight capability. The robot could remain up to 9 minutes in the air, making it the lightest two-winged robot so far that can sustain free controlled flight with all onboard components. We then present a study on how the beetle and robot survive in-flight wing collision. We demonstrated that the folding mechanism in the beetle’s hindwing serves a crucial shock-absorbing function during in-flight collisions by collapsing and redeploying rapidly (< 5 ms) within a single stroke. We then built a beetle-inspired collapsible wing that can be passively folded and rapidly unfolded (< 7 ms). Implementing the wing on a flapping-wing robot, we showed that the folding mechanism enables the robot to fly safely after collisions. Otherwise, in absence of the folding mechanism, the robot tumbles. This initial result promises to develop a collision-tolerant robot for applications in confined space and cluttered environments.

Short-bio Sketch

Hoang-Vu Phan received the B.S. degree in aerospace engineering from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam in 2010, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in biomimetics and intelligent microsystems from Konkuk University, Seoul, South Korea in 2012 and 2017, respectively.

He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. Prior to joining EPFL, he was a research assistant professor at the Department of Smart Vehicle Engineering, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea (2017-2020). His research interests include biologically inspired flying robots, multimodal locomotion robots, and insect flight. He has published more than 25 SCI/SCIE journal papers, and more than 30 conference papers and abstracts. During his research, he released the 16 g KUBeetle robot, which is an insect-like, tailless, two-winged, hover-capable, flapping-wing robot that can sustain a long flight. He is currently the associate editor of International Journal of Micro Air Vehicles and editorial board member of Mathematical Problems in Engineering.