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A Tailless Aerial Robotic Flapper Reveals that Flies Use Torque Coupling in Rapid Banked Turns

Penelitian - Dutch engineers developed a novel insect-inspired flying-wing robot, whose exceptional flight qualities can open up new drone applications.

The study published on Thursday in the Science described the lightweight flying robot that powered and controlled flight by flapping wings like flies, thus allowing it not only to hover on the spot and fly in any direction but also be very agile.

Penelitian A Tailless Aerial Robotic Flapper Reveals that Flies Use Torque Coupling in Rapid Banked Turns

As in flying insects, the robot's flapping wings, beating 17 times per second, not only generated the lift force needed to stay airborne but also control the flight via minor adjustments in the wing motion.

"The robot has a top speed of 25 km/h and can even perform aggressive maneuvers, such as 360-degree flips, resembling loops and barrel rolls," said Matej Karasek of the Delft University of Technology in Netherlands.

"Moreover, the 33 cm wingspan and 29 gram robot has, for its size, excellent power efficiency, allowing 5 minutes of hovering flight or more than a 1 km flight range on a fully charged battery," said Karasek.

Also, the maneuvers performed by the robot closely resembled those observed in fruit flies. The robot was even able to demonstrate how fruit flies control the turn angle to maximize their escape performance.

Journal : Matěj Karásek et al. A tailless aerial robotic flapper reveals that flies use torque coupling in rapid banked turns, Science, 14 Sep 2018, DOI:10.1126/science.aat0350

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