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This nifty flying robot can hover, bank, and turn as deftly as a fruit fly - DelFly Nimble - an agile insect-inspired robot-CEhu-FePBC0_xvid.avi (01/35)
That's pretty neat!
On 13 Sep 2018 22:08:42 -0700, Miloch
Flying insects like bees, dragonflies, and fruit flies can perform impressive
aerodynamic feats, particularly when seeking to evade predators or the swatting
motion of a human hand. Now Dutch scientists have built a flying robot capable
of executing similar maneuversódespite being much larger than the average
insectsóthat could shed light on how these creatures achieve those feats. The
scientists described their work in a new paper in Science.
Matej Karasek of the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands has long
been intrigued by the agility of flying insects, using them as inspiration to
develop tail-less flapping-wing robots. "The major challenge was to come up with
a wing actuation mechanism that would allow independently controlling body
rotations around the three body axes," he says. And that mechanism had to be
sufficiently lightweight for the robot to be able to carry it. The flight of
fruit flies provided the key. Karasek programmed his robot to mimic their
hypothesized flight biomechanics.
It worked like a charm, and the result is the prototype DelFly Nimble flying
robot. The robot's wings beat 17 times per second, generating lift and also
making the robot capable of controlling flight direction by slight adjustments
in wing motion. It can hover and fly in any direction (up, down, forward,
backward, and sideways), as well as perform banked turns and 360-degree flips,
akin to loops or barrel rollsójust like a fruit fly, despite being significantly
larger than the insect. It also boasts excellent power efficiency, capable of
hovering for five minutes or flying more than a kilometer on a single charge.
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