University of Twente Student Theses


Qualitative flow sensing with 3D-printed sensors for application in a robotic bird

Meijers, R. (2022) Qualitative flow sensing with 3D-printed sensors for application in a robotic bird.

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Abstract:For drones to be aware of their surrounding and to be able to respond to complex environments, flow sensors can be useful. Numerous quantitative air flow sensors already exist, but qualitative air flow sensors are less common. Especially sensors equipped to measure quickly changing flows, such as the airflow around flapping flight based drones. The aim of this bachelor assignment is to design a sensor that is suitable for drones that use flapping flight and measures the quality of an airflow, in particular the presence of flow reversal. The concept of a strain gauge is used to measure the bending of the sensor. The main challenge is to design a strain gauge with a significant change in resistance when the sensor is bent, while not making the sensor too stiff. The latter is because the sensor needs to sense the flow and so the wind needs to bend the sensor and not be significantly affected. The first step was to find the connection between the aeroelastic behaviour and mechanical properties of the sensor. This was done by testing sensors with different dimensions in a wind tunnel and observing their behaviour. Using these results ten sensors were designed and tested in a wind tunnel. The product of this research are sensors of which the standard deviation of the resistance is dependent on the direction of an airflow. Because of this research flow sensors for quickly changing flows can be made and optimized. In particular, the Robotics and Mechatronics work group of the University of Twente can use this flow sensor to study the airflow around the wings of the Robird better.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:52 mechanical engineering, 53 electrotechnology
Programme:Electrical Engineering BSc (56953)
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