Daedalus, the ancient Greek maker who flew with his son Icarus from imprisonment to freedom inspired these wings.
Principles of engineering teaches students to create a final product that integrates major electrical, mechanical, and software components into one cohesive product.
In eight short weeks, I worked with four other students to create a pair of wearable animatronic wings. This endeavor, dubbed Project Daedalus in honor of the mythical inventor, is run by a pair of electric motors
Although the motors were quite small, they are surprisingly strong. The over 6ft wingspan made it difficult to create a robust system that would not buckle under load. We added rubber bands to the linkages to assist lifting and over-speced our motors to ensure the wings would properly unfold.
The overall aesthetic for the wings was ‘dark angel’. To achieve this look, Eleven 18 inch feathers were added to each wing. The feathers were constructed from broadcloth and fence wire. The additions of a spray painted blue hombre and a dash of glitter gave them a dark celestial appearance.
The Wings are powered by an electric drill battery. An Arduino Uno equipped with a motor shield controls the wings’ movements and processes the sensor data. The electrical components are hidden in a discrete box on the backplate.
The wings are equipped with sonar and flex sensors. The Sonar sensors are mounted on the tips of the wings. They prevent them from colliding with objects while opening and can detect obstacles like doorways. When the wings sense a threat, they close to avoid it. There are also flex sensors attached to the wings’ harness. When the wearer moves their arms, the flex sensor detects the wearer’s arm position and the wings move to that position.
Principles of Engineering, Fall 2017
CAD, Machining, Artwork, Design