STATES CHRONICLE – Specialists have created a flying bat robot which has flexible wings. Biomimicry is a method which allow scientists to use animals’ motion as muse for design. This method represents a pillar for robotics. Engineers have analyzed animals’ behavior to find the an answer to complex structural issues. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a robot inspired by a galago, an African primate.
On January 1, engineers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have announced that they managed to build a flying bat robot which is more energy competent compared to current aerial robots. Their new study was recently published in the Science Robotics magazine.
The paper was entitled “A biomimetic robotic platform to explore flight specializations of bats.” The new device was called the Bat-Bot. These flying robots were designed having as inspiration the fastest flying mammals endowed with the most complex flight mechanisms compared with all animal species. Specialists unveiled that there are approximately 40 types of joints which interconnect the muscles and bones of bats during their flight.
These joints permit them to modify the shape of their wings which can move in various independent directions. Alireza Ramezani, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Illinois, claimed that their work and determination proved that their robot is one of the most advanced designs of a self-controlled winger aerial robot which resembles a bat. The device can enable autonomous flight.
The Bat-Bot weighs only 93 grams, being outfitted with dynamic wing articulations, having “wing conformations similar to those of biological bats.” The robot is also equipped with a silicone membrane skin allowing the device to alter its structure in the middle of the flying process, without losing its aerodynamic surface.
Soon-Jo Chung, a scientist at Caltech, noted that the flying bat robot benefits from various practical advantages compared to other aerial robots like quadrotors. Bats generally have more passive and active joints. Specialists reduced the number to only 9, five of them being active and four of them inactive.
The expert from Caltech also claimed that the compliant wings of such a robot which flaps its wings at a lower frequency are inherently safe. Firstly, their wings comprise flexible materials, colliding with one another, with little or no damage at all.
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