I am working on a project where I need to create a system capable of vibrating a device rapidly, akin to simulating the flapping motion of birds. The crucial requirement is that the vibration frequency should be high enough to be imperceptible to the human eye.

Specs: From plane perpendicular to ground, from 45° to 135°

So far, I have conceptualized two potential solutions, but I am eager to explore other options and gather opinions on the feasibility of my current ideas:

  1. Electromagnet-Based System: This involves placing four electromagnets at one end of the device. They would generate alternating polarities to induce a flapping motion – upwards then downwards. My concern here lies with the reversal process, as the system must overcome the inertia from the previous motion.

  2. Gear-Driven Mechanism: This option involves using two semi-circular gears controlled by a single motor. These gears would manage the opposing ends of the flapping device.

I am keen to hear your thoughts on these solutions and any suggestions for alternative approaches.

Thank you in advance for your valuable input!

  • $\begingroup$ please add a focused, answerable question to your post... this site is not a brainstorming forum ... it is a question and answer site $\endgroup$
    – jsotola
    Mar 16 at 7:26
  • $\begingroup$ is the machine a few centimeters across? $\endgroup$
    – jsotola
    Mar 16 at 7:27
  • $\begingroup$ The machine doesn’t have any dimensions as this is an exercise. I need to present different ways to achieve it and then tell which one is better for big objects (like aircraft’s) and which one for small. This also means it doesn’t have to care about any other factors like Heat, noise etc. $\endgroup$ Mar 16 at 11:01
  • $\begingroup$ Another idea to throw into the mix - a resonant mechanism (eg with one or more springs or flexible members), which would perhaps answer the question about inertia. This could be combined with the partial-gear mechanism too, maybe with a torsion spring in that case - though at the speeds in question I would wonder about the gears holding up, especially if they have to be light $\endgroup$
    – Pete W
    Mar 16 at 12:34
  • $\begingroup$ Resonant system is good idea. And since it needs to vibrate 90° again and again, as you’ve mentioned, light gears could be hard to create. Any other suggestions or mechanisms? $\endgroup$ Mar 16 at 12:55


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