Published February 10, 2021 | Version v1
Conference paper Open

Adaptive Nonlinear Control For Perching of a Bioinspired Ornithopter

  • 1. GRVC Robotics Laboratory, Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla


This work presents a model-free nonlinear controller for an ornithopter prototype with bioinspired wings and tail. The size and power requirements have been thought to allocate a customized autopilot on board. To assess the functionality and performance of the full mechatronic design, a controller has been designed and implemented to execute a prescribed perching 2D trajectory. Although functional, its 'handmade' nature forces many imperfections that cause uncertainty that hinder its control. Therefore, the controller is based on adaptive backstepping and does not require any knowledge of the aerodynamics. The controller is able to follow a given reference in flight path angle by actuating only on the tail deflection. A novel space-dependent nonlinear guidance law is also provided to prescribe the perching trajectory. Mechatronics, guidance and control system performance is validated by conducting indoor flight tests.


The authors acknowledge support from the European Project GRIFFIN ERC Advanced Grant 2017, Action 788247.



Additional details


GRIFFIN – General compliant aerial Robotic manipulation system Integrating Fixed and Flapping wings to INcrease range and safety 788247
European Commission