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Bee Model Could Be Breakthrough for Autonomous Drone Development

Bee Model Could Be Breakthrough for Autonomous Drone Development | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Bees control their flight using the speed of motion (optic flow) of the visual world around them. A study by Scientists at the University of Sheffield Department of Computer Science suggests how motion-direction detecting circuits could be wired together to also detect motion-speed, which is crucial for controlling bees’ flight.

“Honeybees are excellent navigators and explorers, using vision extensively in these tasks, despite having a brain of only one million neurons,” said Alex Cope, PhD., lead researcher on the paper. “Understanding how bees avoid walls, and what information they can use to navigate, moves us closer to the development of efficient algorithms for navigation and routing, which would greatly enhance the performance of autonomous flying robotics,” he added.
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Moths' Method Of Flying Through Dark May Help Engineers Build Tiny Flying Robots

Moths' Method Of Flying Through Dark May Help Engineers Build Tiny Flying Robots | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Hawkmoths are able see in the dark, and now, researchers know how they do it. This ability allows them to track the movements of flowers blowing in the wind, even at night, as the insects hover in the air.

Manduca sexta, roughly the size of a hummingbird, were studied by researchers using infrared cameras as they traveled between mechanical flowers. As the team varied light conditions, they also altered the speed at which the artificial flowers swayed from side to side. They then recorded how well the proboscis (feeding probe) of the insects stayed within the target flower. The moths are able to slow down their brains while seeking nectar, improving their eyesight under conditions of low visibility, the study found. While their minds are working on reduced speed, the creatures are also able to maintain rapid flapping of their wings and maintaining complex flight characteristics."

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Feathers in Flight Inspire Advanced Anti-Turbulence Systems

Feathers in Flight Inspire Advanced Anti-Turbulence Systems | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Inspired by nature's own anti-turbulence devices – feathers – researchers have developed an innovative system that could spell the end of turbulence on flights. Researchers from the Unmanned Systems Research Team at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, have lodged a provisional patent on the system, which mimics the way feathers help birds detect disturbances in the air."

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Zachary12's curator insight, November 3, 2014 4:17 PM

This is a an great idea and concept for flight similar to that comic joke that with Irish man who was the first man to fly by putting geese feather on him self. These scientist found that feather might dissipate  turbulence on a plane since we have found that birds don't experience any type of turbulence. Look at Peregrine Falcon which can reach 200 mph when diving at a prey

Brad's comment, November 30, 2014 9:55 AM
I could see this technology being more available to small aircraft like it says, but the ability to ensure no turbulence or even a claim to even reduce turbulence in large plains is unsure. Small planes are the ones who get bounced around the most, larger aircraft are still so large I am not sure if it would be cost effective. It seems like this technology is very early. When a new technology claims it is copyiung nature it must be better, or does it? I don't see how tons of metal and steel could ever really rect like a birds wing.
Zachary12's comment, November 30, 2014 10:03 PM
I think you right brad in fact that lager planes would not experience to much affect but the small planes might, and for copying nature I would have to say that they should look at this idea for feathers for small amount of effort for overcoming turbulence. But another maybe even better way would be a integrating more natures concepts to the wings like carbon fiber wings that might give to increase pressures or changes in jets streams. I use carbon fiber as an example is be cause it has a high tensile strength giving less likely hood to snap but this could give the once ridged wings more flexibility in flight to compensate.
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Tiny Muscles Help Bats Fine-tune Flight

Tiny Muscles Help Bats Fine-tune Flight | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Bats appear to use a network of hair-thin muscles in their wing skin to control the stiffness and shape of their wings as they fly, according to a new study. The finding provides new insight about the aerodynamic fine-tuning of membrane wings, both natural and man-made.
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Antennae Help Flies "Cruise" In Gusty Winds

Antennae Help Flies "Cruise" In Gusty Winds | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Caltech researchers uncover a mechanism for how fruit flies regulate their flight speed, using both vision and wind-sensing information from their antennae.
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Rise Of The Insect Drones

Rise Of The Insect Drones | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Nature spent millions of years perfecting flapping-wing flight. Now engineers can reproduce it with machines.
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Bee Flight Inspires Robot Design

Bee Flight Inspires Robot Design | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Footage of bumblebees flying in a wind tunnel reveals how the insects manage in adverse weather, a discovery that could aid the design of flying robots.
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Robotic Bat Wing Mimics a 'Spectacular Flyer'

Robotic Bat Wing Mimics a 'Spectacular Flyer' | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"Researcher Joseph Bahlman, a graduate student at Brown University, developed the robotic bat wing depicted in this video to help scientists better understand the workings of bat flight. "Bats are just really amazing, spectacular flyers," says Bahlman, a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow. "Their wings are extremely dynamic, so much more dynamic than birds or insects. If you look at the wings of a bat, they're just like our hands, they have all these joints that let their wings adapt into lots of different shapes, giving them a tremendous range of aerodynamic forces and maneuverabilities. They fly much better than anything we've engineered. I would love to figure out how that works and then duplicate it."

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Albatross's Effortless Flight Decoded—May Influence Future Planes

Albatross's Effortless Flight Decoded—May Influence Future Planes | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Aerospace engineers may have finally figured out how albatrosses go so far without flapping, and the findings could shape future planes.
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Swans Help Create Smoother Camera Drone Videos

Swans Help Create Smoother Camera Drone Videos | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The next time you see a graceful, dramatic video shot by a camera drone, you may have a swan to thank for the absence of any jittery footage. Stanford University researchers aredeveloping camera suspension technology inspired by whooping swans, whose heads remain remarkably still even when they're making aggressive in-flight maneuvers. Thanks to a blend of high-speed video and computer modeling, the scientists discovered that the swan's neck acts much like a vehicle's suspension, passively countering the effects of flapping wings or headwinds."

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Really! Can Robots fly?

Really! Can Robots fly? | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
The new robot uses adaptive morphology inspired by the common vampire bat, Desmodus rotundus, meaning that the wings have been actuated using a foldable skeleton mechanism covered with a soft fabric such that they can be used both as wings and as legs (whegs).
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Technology Unlocks the Mysteries of Bird Flight

Technology Unlocks the Mysteries of Bird Flight | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
As long as there have been people watching birds, there have been theories as to how and why they do what they do. In the modern era, theories about why birds flock and why they migrate in v-formations have abounded, yet answers have been few. But new research using creative technology on both starling murmurations and bald ibis’ migration reveals that complex flight dynamics and rapid-fire adjustments based on sensory feedback previously believed impossible for birds are indeed occurring.
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Bio-inspired Unmanned Aircraft Capable of Soaring Like Birds

Bio-inspired Unmanned Aircraft Capable of Soaring Like Birds | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Researchers are developing a bio-inspired unmanned aircraft capable of soaring like birds, boosting energy efficiency and endurance. The research team is aiming to be the first in the world to demonstrate an autonomous unmanned aircraft that can mimic birds by using updrafts around buildings to stay airborne.
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Roboticists Discover the Secret of Insect Flight, and it's Not Wings

Roboticists Discover the Secret of Insect Flight, and it's Not Wings | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
When it comes to insect flight, we usually only think about how the insect's wings contribute to aerial stability. But scientists have now discovered that the abdominal movements of some insects also play a large role in flight control, particularly when hovering — a finding that could lead to improved aerial drones.
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Secret of Owls' Silent Flight Revealed by Scientists

Secret of Owls' Silent Flight Revealed by Scientists | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The secrets of owls' near silent wings has been revealed by scientists who could now use the technology to develop quieter aircraft. A new study has shown how the bird of prey's naturally evolved plumage gives the hunting advantage of 'acoustic stealth', allowing it to sneak up on targets. Research found that many owl species have developed feathers which can effectively eliminate the aerodynamic noise from their wings as they cut through the air."

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The Nearly Effortless Flight of the Albatross

The Nearly Effortless Flight of the Albatross | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The wandering albatross spends weeks, even months, at sea without ever returning to land. With precise GPS data and custom navigation software, researchers have finally figured out how. Measuring and modeling the bird’s aerial behavior could inspire new drone designs."

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Owls' Ability to Fly in Acoustic Stealth Provides Clues to Mitigating Conventional Aircraft Noise

Owls have the uncanny ability to fly silently, relying on specialized plumage to reduce noise so they can hunt in acoustic stealth. Researchers from the University of Cambridge, England, are studying the owl's wing structure to better understand how it mitigates noise so they can apply that information to the design of conventional aircraft.

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DARPA's Maple Seed-Inspired Drone Takes Flight (Video)

DARPA's Maple Seed-Inspired Drone Takes Flight (Video) | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"The idea of designing a drone after the maple seed has been around for awhile. But finally, researchers have made it happen."

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