Bats have long captured the imaginations of scientists and engineers with their unrivaled agility, but their complex wing motions pose significant technological challenges for those seeking to recreate their flight in a robot.
The key flight mechanisms of bats now have been recreated with unprecedented fidelity in the Bat Bot—a self-contained robotic bat with soft, articulated wings, developed by researchers at Caltech and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).
“This robot design will help us build safer and more efficient flying robots, and also give us more insight into the way bats fly,” says Soon-Jo Chung, associate professor of aerospace and Bren Scholar in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science at Caltech, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory research scientist. (Caltech manages JPL for NASA.)
Chung, who joined the Caltech faculty in August 2016, developed the robotic bat, along with his former postdoctoral associate Alireza Ramezani from UIUC and Seth Hutchinson, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the UIUC and Ramezani’s co-advisor. Chung is the corresponding author of a paper describing the bat that was published on February 1 in Science Robotics, the newest member of the Science family of journals published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The Bat Bot weighs only 93 grams and is shaped like a bat with a roughly one-foot wingspan. It is capable of altering its wing shape by flexing, extending, and twisting at its shoulders, elbows, wrists, and legs. Arguably, bats have the most sophisticated powered flight mechanism among animals, which includes wings that have the capability of changing shape. Their flight mechanism involves several different types of joints that interlock the bones and muscles to one another, creating a musculoskeletal system that is capable of movement in more than 40 rotational directions.
“Our work demonstrates one of the most advanced designs to date of a self-contained flapping-winged aerial robot with bat morphology that is able to perform autonomous flight,” Ramezani says.
One of the key challenges was to create wings that change shape while flapping, the way a biological bat’s do. Conventional lightweight fabrics, like nylon and Mylar, are not stretchable enough. Instead, the researchers developed a custom ultra-thin (56 microns), silicone-based membrane that simulates stretchable, thin bat wings.
Bat-inspired aerial robots have the potential to be significantly more energy efficient than current flying robots because their flexible wings amplify the motion of the robot’s actuators. When a bat—or the Bat Bot—flaps its wings, the wing membranes fill up with air and deform. At the end of the wings’ downward flapping motion, the membranes snap back to their usual shape and blast out the air, creating a huge amplification in power for the flap.
The design has potential applications for environments where more traditional quadrotor drones—which have four spinning rotors—could collide into objects or people, causing damage or injury.
Learn more: Engineers Build Robot Drone That Mimics Bat Flight
[osd_subscribe categories=’drones’ placeholder=’Email Address’ button_text=’Subscribe Now for any new posts on the topic “DRONES”‘]
Receive an email update when we add a new DRONES article.
The Latest on: Robotic bat
[google_news title=”” keyword=”robotic bat” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Robotic bat
- 10 Biggest Jump-Scares In Non-Horror Video Gameson March 30, 2023 at 7:25 am
That piano from Super Mario 64 still gives you ...
- Red Wings baseball traditions continue – with a robotic twiston March 29, 2023 at 4:50 am
Like hardy daffodils pushing through the snow in our gardens, baseball’s return is a sign of rebirth following terminally long, gray winter days; a hopeful harbinger of sunnier times to come.March 28, ...
- Cable Driven Robotic Jointon March 28, 2023 at 5:00 pm
Even the oldest of mechanisms remain useful in modern technology. [Skyentific] has been messing with robotic joints for quite a while, and demonstrated an interesting way to use a pulley system in ...
- Best robot games on PC 2023on March 28, 2023 at 7:47 am
What are the best robot games on PC? Strapping into an overpowered robot filled to the brim with rockets and lasers is an old but popular power fantasy. Classic shows from the ‘80s and ‘90s ...
- A Slow Batting Innings Polarized The Cricket Worldon March 27, 2023 at 5:47 am
Ashley Chandrasinghe garnered worldwide attention for his remarkable stonewall of 46 from 280 balls in Australian domestic cricket in an innings that divided public opinion.
- Robotic applications at ProMat 2023on March 26, 2023 at 3:57 am
Some providers of robotics-based automated storage systems are incorporating robotic piece-picking stations as an alternative or augmentation to traditional pick stations staffed by associates. The ...
- Lots of great robot vacuums are on sale for under $500 just in time for spring cleaningon March 24, 2023 at 2:50 pm
Find the robot vac that's right for your home. Credit: iRobot Deal pricing and availability subject to change after time of publication. Learn more about how we select deals. Only three things are ...
- Best spring cleaning robot vacuum dealson March 24, 2023 at 9:28 am
It's a great time to invest in a robot vacuum. Robot vacuums are a welcome addition to just about any home -- these automated workhorses clean your floors so you don't have to. They can also be a ...
- Best robot vacuum deals in March 2023on March 21, 2023 at 1:59 pm
A robot vacuum can set you back a few hundred dollars. Fortunately, the best robot vacuum deals can help lower the cost of your robotic assistant. Currently, we're seeing some great sales on some ...
via Bing News