Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tiny Four-Winged Robot Flies Like a Jellyfish | VIDEO

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Four-Winged Robot Flies Like a Jellyfish 11-25-13



By Sandrine Ceurstemont
www.newscientist.com
11-25-13

      Tiny flying robots usually mimic nature's flyers, like birds and insects – but perhaps that's due to a lack of imagination. A four-winged design created by Leif Ristroph and colleagues at New York University, which boasts a body plan reminiscent of a jellyfish, is more stable in the air than insect-like machines.

The prototype consists of a carbon-fibre frame surrounded by two pairs of thin plastic wings that open and close when driven by a motor. Its shape allows it to fly upright with little effort, without requiring sensors or intelligence to adjust its wings like those used by insects. "Making a dumb machine is a nice strategy for very small robots," says Ristroph. "Without circuits and sensors, it's also lighter."

The robot is tethered to a power source for now, but improvements to the motor and wings should soon let it roam free. . . .


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