Science

Making Robots Float Like a Butterfly

Posted 13 Feb 2003 at 22:11 UTC by steve Share This

Using a trained butterfly and a smoke-filled wind tunnel, researchers in England are begining to learn the secrets of butterflies. A TRN article describes the research. Far from the haphazard fliers they seem, butterflies actually "use all of the known mechanisms to enhance lift -- wake capture, leading-edge vortex, clap and fling, and active and inactive upstrokes -- as well as two mechanisms that had not been postulated, the leading-edge vortex during the upstrokes and the double leading-edge vortex". Robert Srygley, one of the researchers, expects these flying techniques to be applied to insect-sized flying robots within a decade.

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