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Applied Bionics and Biomechanics
Volume 2018, Article ID 3091579, 7 pages
Research Article

Biomimetic Beetle-Inspired Flapping Air Vehicle Actuated by Ionic Polymer-Metal Composite Actuator

1Department of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian, China
2Pen-Tung Sah Institute of Micro-Nano Science and Technology, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Qinnan Chen; nc.ude.umx@nanniqnehc

Received 3 November 2017; Accepted 17 January 2018; Published 27 February 2018

Academic Editor: QingSong He

Copyright © 2018 Yang Zhao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


During the last decades, the ionic polymer-metal composite (IPMC) received much attention because of its potential capabilities, such as large displacement and flexible bending actuation. In this paper, a biomimetic flapping air vehicle was proposed by combining the superiority of ionic polymer metal composite with the bionic beetle flapping principle. The blocking force was compared between casted IPMC and IPMC. The flapping state of the wing was investigated and the maximum displacement and flapping angle were measured. The flapping displacement under different voltage and frequency was tested. The flapping displacement of the wing and the support reaction force were measured under different frequency by experiments. The experimental results indicate that the high voltage and low frequency would get large flapping displacement.