garymortimer writes: "These people from Festo are really beyond clever.
The mechanics of dragonfly flight are unique: dragonflies can manoeuvre in all directions, glide without having to beat their wings and hover in the air. Their ability to move their two pairs of wings independently enables them to slow down and turn abruptly, to accelerate swiftly and even to fly backwards.
A natural model for flight
With the BionicOpter, Festo has applied these highly complex characteristics to an ultra-lightweight flying object at a technical level. For the first time, there is a model that can master more flight conditions than a helicopter, plane and glider combined.
In addition to controlling the flapping frequency and the twisting of the individual wings, each of the four wings features an amplitude controller. This means that the direction of thrust and the intensity of thrust for all four wings can be adjusted individually, thus enabling the remote-controlled dragonfly to move in almost any orientation in space. The intelligent kinematics correct any vibrations during flight and ensure flight stability both indoors and outdoors."
garymortimer writes: "Printed using methods inspired by pop up books and with vision based stabilization from a tiny camera. Will we really release robots to the wild to pollinate our food supply?
The collaborators envision that the Nature-inspired research could lead to a greater understanding of how to artificially mimic the collective behavior and “intelligence” of a bee colony; foster novel methods for designing and building an electronic surrogate nervous system able to deftly sense and adapt to changing environments; and advance work on the construction of small-scale flying mechanical devices."
garymortimer writes: "Brazilian Free-tailed bats (also called Tadarida) come together in the millions in caves all over Texas, leaving every night in swarms so big they can be detected by doppler radar. Somehow, they manage to fly through this dense self-clutter without major collisions, and so our goal is to better understand this behavior. For the AIRFOILS project, the IML team created the previously mentioned Batcopter. The goal was to fly a UAV through the dense clutter, and record the bats’ response with three ground-based high-speed FLIR cameras and an airborne 3D HD GoPro camera. The hope is to extract fundamental control laws of flying behavior in order to achieve better autonomous UAV flight"