Bioligically Inspired Feedback Design for Drosophila Flight

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Michael Epstein, Stephen Waydo, Sawyer B. Fuller, Will Dickson, Andrew Straw, Michael H. Dickinson and Richard M. Murray
To appear, 2007 American Control Conference (ACC)

[[abstract::In this work the authors use a biologically moti- vated model of the Drosophila’s flight mechanics and sensor processing to design a feedback control scheme to regulate forward flight. The model used for insect flight is the Grand Unified Fly (GUF) [3] simulation consisting of a rigid-body simulation, a model of the aerodynamic forces and moments as well as a sensory systems and environment model. It is desired to design a control algorithm that will convert the sensory output signals into proper wing beat commands to regulate forward flight. Modulating the wing beat frequency and mean stroke angle produce changes in the flight envelope. The sensory outputs consist of estimates of translational velocity from the visual processing units and rotational velocity estimates from the haltere organs. The controller is designed based on a longitudinal model of the flight dynamics. Feedforward commands are generated based on a desired forward velocity. The dynamics are linearized around this operating point and a feedback controller designed to correct deviations from the operating point. The control algorithm is implemented in the GUF simulator and achieves the desired tracking of the forward reference velocities and exhibits biologically realistic responses. ]]