Flying robot mimics the way insects fly

© naftemporiki.gr Flying robot mimics the way insects fly

Inspired by some species of insects is a flying robot developed by researchers of the “Micro Air Vehicle Laboratory” of “TU Delft” in the Netherlands.

According to its creators, experiments with the first autonomous, free-flight and fast-blowing robot wings – carried out in collaboration with “Wageningen University & Research”– have greatly improved the level of knowledge about how fruit flies can make steep and “aggressive” avoidance maneuvers, paving the way for new applications of robotic, unmanned aircraft.

Several flying creatures can use the blow their wings to both get the required power for flight and to control their flight. In this way, small insects can fly near flowers, suspended, but at the same time move away quickly to escape potential dangers.

This feature has always been of great interest to both scientists and robotics engineers. In this context, “TU Delft” researchers have developed such a flying robot, which combines high performance, but also a simple and easy-to-make design. Its wings strike 17 times per second, and can both lift it up in the air and guide its flight through small changes in the movement of the wings. 

Inspired by fruit flies, robot control mechanisms have proven to be particularly effective, allowing both swing capabilities and high-performance versatility and speed.

 “The robot has a top speed of 25 km/h and can also perform aggressive maneuvers such as 360-degree rotation”, 

says Matej Karasek, first author of the study and key designer of the robot.

“In addition, the 33 centimeter and 29-gram robot wingspan has, for its size, superior energy efficiency, as it can hang for 5 minutes or fly a full-km with a fully charged battery.” 

The maneuvers made by the robot in its trials referred to those observed in fruit flies, and the robot was even able to show how insects are doing some particularly difficult maneuvers.

With regard to practical applications, it is obviously too many, as robots of this type are light, safe for humans and more efficient than the “traditional” drones designs, especially on smaller scales.

 

Source: naftemporiki.gr

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