Building a semi human powered flying device

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Jarno

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Joined
Sep 21, 2011
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Location
The Hague, The Netherlands
Hi guys,

I'm Jarno from the Netherlands and a new member here on this forum. I would like to share my project with all of u. I'm pretty sure I found a way to fly as a bird, using wings in combination with RC components, old kite/windsurf gear and android driven smartphones.

I've been working on a concept for the last couple of years alongside my fulltime job. Now I took a sabbatical to fully focus on further designing and eventually built it.

I've just completed my 3D sketches (see my newest video on my website) of how the wings should function, and how I would be able to fly with them. Please give me some feedback & for now I need thoughts on how to make the tail!! So share!
You can follow me on twitter/facebook, my website or on this thread, where we can have discussions about my project.

grtz Jarno Smeets (The Netherlands)

Human Birdwings | Building a semi human powered flying device

twitter: @jarnosmeets80
 

Dana

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I'm not sure if this is a joke or what, especially given the part about "android driven smartphones". If it's not, I suggest you do some research about the power required to fly, compared with the power a human can produce. You'll find many discussions about that here (use the search function), as well as other places.

You might want to summarize your idea here... few of us (including myself) are going to take the time to wade through a bunch of videos on your blog.

-Dana

Evening news is where they begin with "Good Evening," and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.
 

Autodidact

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Hi Jarno, my thought is that even if you augment the human with some electric power you should use the legs as the primary source of human power to flap the wings as the legs are the strongest muscles.
 

Jarno

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The Hague, The Netherlands
I'm not sure if this is a joke or what, especially given the part about "android driven smartphones".
Thanks, it's not a joke.

[/QUOTE]You might want to summarize your idea here... few of us (including myself) are going to take the time to wade through a bunch of videos on your blog.[/QUOTE]
Sorry, wasn't aware of that. I'll summarize the idea here tomorrow morning, when I'm back at my workstation and have acces to sketches and other info to post right here in this topic.
 

Jarno

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Sep 21, 2011
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The Hague, The Netherlands
Hi Jarno, my thought is that even if you augment the human with some electric power you should use the legs as the primary source of human power to flap the wings as the legs are the strongest muscles.
Hi, thanks for the comment. As far as I know the pectoral muscles can produce about 100 watts and the legs 300 (if you're very fit). That will never be enough, but it's not my intention to rely on human power. There are small, lightweight motors built by Turnigy which could (in combination with the right gearbox) generate enough power to flap the wings in the right frequency. The legpower will be used to generate speed for the lift (running).
 

ARP

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Nov 24, 2009
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Darenth, Kent / England
Hello Jarno,

I'm interested in HPA but there are few full sized ornithopters that have been able to fly even with engine power. There may be ways of doing it as shown with the Canadian HPA but this aircraft required an initial tow to take off. I will contact you direct to discuss further.

Tony
 

Dana

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The legpower will be used to generate speed for the lift (running).
Well, that's more reasonable; there have been many foot launched aircraft, hang gliders and paragliders, both powered an unpowered. BUT... even leg power is just an assist, either running down a slope for an unpowered HG or PG, or keeping things going in the case of a PHG or PPG. In the case, say, of a PPG, the pilot starts running to inflate and lift the wing, but then he nails the throttle and the engine takes over from there. Absent a strong wind, there's no way you'd get airborne for more than a hop of a foot or two without power assist.

I think you will also find that R/C motors will be inadequate for the job, unless you use a bunch of them. 10kW is a realistic minimum for any kind of man carrying aircraft, absent heroic efforts at efficiency or minimum weight (ala McCready's HPA designs).

-Dana

Silence is golden, but duct tape is silver...
 

Jarno

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Sep 21, 2011
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The Hague, The Netherlands
The motors I'll use can produce 4kw in total, that's not matching with the 10kw, so I might be wrong on this. But according to my research and some help by human movement scientist Bert Otten from the University of Groningen, 2kw of efficient assisted power should be enough the achieve the right flapping frequency.

A short summary on this project, without having to watch the videos on my blog:
-The goal is to get close to the dream of man being able to fly as birds (I know many people have tried before me, and few succeeded).
-Want to use widely available materials.
-Wingspan will be around 12 meters, with 15 m2 of membrane wingsurface (based on the prognosis I can achieve a running speed of 25km/h)
-Wings will be consist of fabric from my old Slingshot Fuel 17m2 kite, carbon fiber spars and balsawood ribs
-To generate lift and forward thrust these wings will be flapped in multiple angles, based on Kjell's Wiggle Drive concept (Kjell wing drive.mpg - YouTube)
-The fun part will be to turn the arms into movement guides, so the flapping frequency is based upon the movements of the arms.
-This will be achieved by controlling the motors by using the accerolation & gyroscope sensors from wii controllers and and an htc wildfire s connected the arms + android ADK.
-Complete package will weigh around 20kg.
 

WonderousMountain

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Turnigy motors can't be trusted. While some have great performance with them, others have problems right out of the box. There are competitive motors that seem to have better reputations. Although they cost more, it won't be a major expense compared to the difficulty of the project.
 

scuba72

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Posts like this make me wonder why I still come here almost every day.
 

WonderousMountain

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Yes, it's important to have both finances and free time in this hobby, and free time doesn't improve finances, but finances can buy free time.

Sage advice D Hillberg!
 

SuperSte

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Sep 23, 2011
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Genova, Italy
Jarno,
I havent given enough time to your blog to decide whether it's a win or a loss; but I envy your choice and decision in following your dream.

BTW this is my first post on this forum! I guess you gave me the final kick to stop lurking!!

Keep up with the great job!

S.
 

Jarno

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Sep 21, 2011
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The Hague, The Netherlands
Thanks a lot S. I'll try to keep up the good job!

About the Turnigy motors, I'm aware of there reputation, but had some good experiences with them in previous projects. There amazingly cheap and powerful, and I try to keep the costs as low as possible. This is still a beta version of the device,If necessary I'll build in one with higher quality.
 

antero

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Why would you want to use bluetooth to send flight critical inputs when a short wire could accomplish the same thing?
 

litespeed

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I would forget as much electronics as possible and just worry about the getting the basics right.

What you propose is in theory possible..............

But would need to be kept simple to overcome the big design challenges.

Festo have developed a flying bird that may have clues to what you need.
 

SuperSte

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Talking about flapping stuff, in Holland there are dudes which looks pretty advanced with it:

Green X, RoBird robot birds for Bird Control,

Jarno,
I definitely agree on the "let's keep the price low" side of the adventure. Low pricing would be super-attactive for DIYers.
If a lo-cost demonstrator is built and flew, there's gonna be plenty of enthusiast modders which are going to tweak up the idea with higher quality motors, more expensive and more reliable materials and so forth.

Once more. Go ahead with this enthusiasm!!

Stefano
 

Jarno

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Sep 21, 2011
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Location
The Hague, The Netherlands
Thanks guys for the links on the Festo bird, I've seen it flying for real at the Twente Ballooning Event in the Netherlands. Pretty impressive, especially because the movements look so well copied from real nature. It's a very interesting piece of technology to get inspired by.

About wires instead of bluetooth:
Good point, but bluetooth is actually a quite robust way of transmitting signals over a short distance. I am using a Wii Remote to track my arm movement. It already has bluetooth built in so hooking up a wire is actually more complicated in this case. If in testing the bluetooth connection proves to be unreliable I'll switch it out for a set of wires but I don't expect it to be a problem.
 
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