-How to Build an Ornithopter
- How to play Fix you and We Are the Champion on Arduino
Step 1: Brainstorming
In our stem skills engineering class we were assigned a project so the first step was to come up with ideas for what we wanted to do as a group. So we did some research by looking at websites (like instructables), talking with our professor and consulting classmates. We came up with a variety of ideas such as:
- A wooden violin controlled by an arduino
- An arduino infrared remote control car (with blinkers and the song "party in the USA)
- A robot arm (powered by hydrolics)
- The aerodynamics of paper airplanes
- A wooden constructed house
- A marble roller coaster
- A catapult
After bouncing around some ideas, we decided that we really liked the arduino car. But after struggling to find the proper materials we realized that this wasn't the best path to take so we decided to go with the ornithroper after consulting some of our classmates who had constructed one before.
Step 2: Gathering Materials
An Ornithopter is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as an aircraft designed to derive its chief support and propulsion from flapping wings. After finding a website that showed us how to construct the ornithroper, we decided to double the dimensions to see how big we could reasonably make the ornithroper and it still retain its functionality. So then we acquired the following materials:
(The materials and length needed for the wires and balsa wood are seen in the pictures above)
- Rubber Band
- Hot Glue
- Needle Nose Plyers
- Flat Nose Plyers
- 7ish (3D Printed) Beads
- Any light paper (like tissue paper)
Step 3: Making the Frame of the Ornithopter
(Look at the pictures above for reference)
1. Cut the wood and wire to fit the measurements shown on the previous page. If using paperclips as the wire, use the flat nose plyers to straighten the paper clips then use the needle nose plyers to cut them.
2. Glue the 2 inch pieces to the 9 inch piece. Then glue the 5 inch piece to the top of that.
3. Glue the three 7 inch pieces together to form the tail of the ornithopter.
(Steps 2 and 3 are the first picture)
4. Then bend the wire as shown in the pictures above (second picture)
5. Add 4 beads to the top and tip of the base and one bead at the bottom of the base. (third picture)
6. Glue the base and the tail together, adding the 2.5 inch wire between the two. Make sure to attach the hook in the right direction, facing towards the base. (fourth picture)
7. Then attach the wires to the base, the two 4 inch on the top of the base, into the four bead slots and the 4.5 inch wire into the bead slot on the bottom of the base. The 4.5 inch wire will need to have a hook facing towards the tail side of the ornithropter. Make sure to add a loose bead in front of the 4.5 inch hook so that the wings can rotate and not be stuck against the wood. (fifth picture)
8. Take the two 10 inch pieces of wood and attach the 4 inch wire as shown in the sixth picture above.
9. Attach the 10 inch pieces into the bead slots on the top of the base.
10. Take the two 3 inch pieces, make small holes on the bottom and top of it and then attach these pieces to the front of the ornithopter. The hole on the bottom of the 3 inch piece will attach to the wire that comes out from the bottom of the base. The top hole on the 3 inch piece will attach to one of the wires that protrudes from the wing. This will be the case for both the three inch pieces. (Reference the last image above)
Step 4: Making the Wings and Flying Mechanism
1. Take the paper and cut it into the shape of a semi circle. Make the length 20 inches and the height of the center about 5 inches.
2. Attach the rubber band in between the two hooks
3. Attach the paper to the top of the ornithopter
3. Give the rubber band a few turns and then let go!
Step 5: Gathering the Music Supplies
In order to prepare the Arduino for music making, one must first acquire the following parts:
One Arduino Uno board
One Arduino breadboard
1 Piezo Element
1 USB connector
One laptop computer
The Arduino computer program
Step 6: Wiring the Arduino
The components below need to go into the following outlets:
Piezo Element- j9 to j7 Wires:
I7 to -
Pin 9 to j9
5V to +
GND to -
Step 7: Coding the Arduino
The following codes were derived from the sample code #11 for a buzzer. The note frequencies and beats, along with the songs length have all been altered in order to fit the need of our project.