VIDEO Americans have designed a drone that looks like a real bird



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VIDEO Americans have designed a drone that looks like a real bird



EXPERIMENTAL PigeonBot unmanned aerial vehicle is an unusual biomimetic creation developed by researchers at Stanford University.

Boasting a pair of bio-hybrid wings and using real feathers, this aircraft is testing a new way of flying drones, which can prove to be a useful innovation when it comes to drones.



“My personal goal was to develop a drone like a bird as a model to help study how they fly,” says David Lentink, head of Stanford's Research and Design Lab for Digital Trends.

(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMKdfFL6Jf8 (/ embed)

Two girls deserve credit for everything

A lot of people think that birds have feathers because of the aesthetics and that it would be warmer. However, feathers have another, more practical, role. Namely, in birds it plays an important role in achieving the optimal shape of the wings.

How birds control their wings is already a matter for debate. Some suggest the theory that birds control each feather with individual muscles. Others refer to bird wing morphology in their works, but do not go into detail. PigeonBot is an attempt to find a definitive answer.

Two girls deserve credit for seeing the light of day at PigeonBot.

Doctoral student Amanda Stowers began an analysis of the movements of the bird's skeleton, eventually finding that it took only a few movements for the robot to mimic 20 primary and 20 secondary flight feathers. Another student, Laura Matloff, found her feathers moving, as a result of a simple linear response to skeletal movement.

A light craft with real pigeon feathers

When they implemented their findings on a robot (which they called PigeonBot), they made a light drone with 40 real pigeon feathers, which can perform various movements and mimic a pigeon flight. Although the spacecraft has a front drive to lift it up into the sky, its feathers give it the ability to maneuver like a real bird.

Such unmanned aerial vehicles are not only useful for bird research but can also be used to achieve greater human safety. They should be softer than existing drones and thus reduce the potential harm to humans.

Google and Amazon make their own autonomous aircraft, and anyone with enough money can make it, but they are potentially dangerous to humans if they break down and crash. With softer drones, people would be safer.

A document describing the basic scientific aspect of this paper was recently published in the journal Science. Meanwhile, a description of the PigeonBot spacecraft adorns the pages of Science Robotics.


VIDEO Americans have designed a drone that looks like a real bird

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