An insect tether system using magnetic levitation: Development, analysis and feedback control

Shih Jung Hsu, Yagiz Efe Bayiz, Pan Liu, Bo Cheng

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Insect flight has gained wide interests in both biology and engineering communities in the past decades regarding its aerodynamics, sensing and flight control. However, studying insect flight experimentally remains a challenge in both freeflight and tethered-flight settings. In free flight experiments, due to highly unpredictable and fast flight behavior of flying insects, it is difficult to apply controlled sensory inputs to their flight system for system identification and modeling analyses. In tethered flight experiments, constrained whole body movement results in silenced proprioceptive feedback therefore breaks the flight control loop and does not reveal any flight dynamics. Therefore, this work aims to develop a novel insect tether system using magnetic levitation. Such a system magnetically fixes an insect in space but allows it to rotate freely about yaw axis with minimal interference from mechanical constraints. This paper presents the development, analysis and feedback control of this system and finally test its performance using a hawkmoth (Manduca Sexta). In addition, a system identification of the magnetic levitation system and detailed analysis in closed-loop stability and performance are provided. In the future, the insect tether system will be applied to study the insect flight aerodynamics, sensing and control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Control Design Methods, Nonlinear and Optimal Control, Robotics, and Wind Energy Systems; Aerospace Applications; Assistive and Rehabilitation Robotics; Assistive Robotics; Battery and Oil and Gas Systems; Bioengineering Applications; Biomedical and Neural Systems Modeling, Diagnostics and Healthcare; Control and Monitoring of Vibratory Systems; Diagnostics and Detection; Energy Harvesting; Estimation and Identification; Fuel Cells/Energy Storage; Intelligent Transportation
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
ISBN (Electronic)9780791850695
StatePublished - 2016
EventASME 2016 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, DSCC 2016 - Minneapolis, United States
Duration: Oct 12 2016Oct 14 2016

Publication series

NameASME 2016 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, DSCC 2016


OtherASME 2016 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, DSCC 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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