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Researchers have created one of the most flexible fly-inspired robots that is called DelFly Nimble. The DelFly robot is a fully controllable camera-equipped flapping wing Micro Air Vehicle or Ornithopter developed at the Micro Air Vehicle Lab of the Delft University of Technology in collaboration with Wageningen University. The DelFly project emphases on fully functioning systems and follows a top-down approach toward ever smaller and more autonomous flapping wing MAVs.
The robot can rapidly quicken from hover to fast forward flight, make a 360° roll flip maneuver, make a 360° pitch flip maneuver and a fly inspired rapid banked turn.
“Our previous DelFly robots had an airplane-like tail, which made it stable, and was used for steering,” Matěj Karásek, who led the work, told Digital Trends. “Fruit flies, but also other insects, have no such tail. Instead, they control their flight by adjustments of the motion patterns of [their] flapping wings. The DelFly robot does the same: It uses its flapping wings not only to produce lift force that keeps it flying, but also for control. The loss of tail makes it much more agile, like flying insects.”
Currently, the flexible robot may fly only 5 minutes, but these limits may change in the near future. According to their official website [At hover, the 29-g and 33-cm wingspan robot can fly for more than 5 minutes on a fully charged battery, while its 14 cm wings flap at a frequency of approx. 17 Hz. Its outstanding power efficiency peaks at a forward cruise speed of approx.].
“Currently, the robot can already carry a small camera, sending live images to the operator, and can fly for more than a kilometer when fully charged,” Karásek continued. “We are already working on making the drone fully autonomous by adding a camera system as in our previous DelFly Explorer.”
Source: www.delfly.nl, www.digitaltrends.com
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