Post by Wayne Smith on Nov 23, 2020 15:16:27 GMT 10
A robot with wings that move like a hawk’s can fly more stably and nimbly than other flying robots – and it uses less power, extending flight time.
Enrico Ajanic at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne and his colleagues borrowed from the biology of the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) to make a 284-gram drone with a maximum wingspan of 1.05 metres. The craft includes 27 feather-like plates – nine on each wing and a further nine on the tail – so that it moves through air as a goshawk does.
The goal was to develop a drone that can fly long distances across cities, but manoeuvre around buildings and objects that it is likely to encounter. “Multicopter drones can hover and move well, but can’t fly long distances,” says Ajanic. “Winged drones can fly long distances but aren’t very agile.”
Motors allow the drone’s wings to fold in or out and its tail to contract or to fan out, mimicking the flight behaviour of a bird. With wings and tail spread fully, the robot gains height. When it reaches top speed, the feather-like plates can be tucked in to become more aerodynamic, just like a bird.
Read more: www.newscientist.com/article/2258426-hawk-inspired-robot-with-movable-wings-is-an-agile-long-distance-flyer/#ixzz6eam61xQz