Students Receive National Award in Arc Welding Competition
A Flapping Micro Aerial Vehicle being tested in the Particle Image Velocimeter to study the wing's vortices.
January 17, 2013 — A group of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics students won the Gold Award in the James F. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation Engineering Student Design Competition on for their project, “Enhancement of Flapping Micro Aerial Vehicle.”
Students Joseph Parente, Woo Jin Bak, Thomas Hayden, Timothy Garbarino and Mark Zebley created a biologically inspired micro aerial vehicle based on the Japanese Rhinoceros Beetle as a senior design project.
Micro aerial vehicles (MAVs) are a class of unmanned aerial vehicles that have size and weight restrictions. Most are inspired by biological creatures, such as birds or insects, due to their ability to maneuver with a high level of agility on a small scale. Like birds and insects, many micro aerial vehicles propel themselves using a wing flapping motion.
To date, there has not been an MAV inspired by a beetle. Unlike other designs based on dragonflies, which requires constant forward motion to remain in flight, a beetle has the ability to hover as well as fly forward. The main focus of the team’s new design was to utilize two motors to add more control to the flapping wing system.
“The hardest part of the project was bringing our experimental theories into actuality. Many of our designs were great, but crumbled in front of us. It took a lot of effort and testing to transfer our theories into something that would be physically successful,” team member Joseph Parente said.
Criteria for winning the Gold Award included originality or ingenuity; feasibility; results achieved or expected; engineering competence; and clarity of the presentation. The group was sponsored and advised by Dr. MinJun Kim, an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics.
“We were very excited to hear that we received the Gold Award, and are grateful that our hard work towards our senior design project has been nationally recognized,” Parente said.
The James F. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation is dedicated to advancing safe, reliable, and cost-effective arc welding design and practice worldwide. It is the only organization in the United States solely dedicated to educating the public about the art and science of arc welding.
The Gold Award comes with a $1,000 prize.