Robotic Flying Prey
Program: Mechanical Engineering
The BWORM21 was tasked with building two room-sized robots that move target prey, a mealworm, along custom flight paths in two dimensions. This was accomplished with systems that use parallel carriages driven by a network of cables and pulleys which move the mealworm at speeds up to 2 m/s and with almost instantaneous acceleration. The mealworm’s trajectory is inputted by the user through a custom MATLAB interface that communicates with Arduinos to drive hybrid stepper motors. The systems are safe for both bats and humans and use acoustic insulation to dampen sounds within bats’ hearing range.