Highlights: ‘Robo Raven’ Flying Machines Created in Leonardo’s Style
Leonardo da Vinci, the namesake of the Da Vinci Science Center, would have been fascinated by the work of scientists from the University of Maryland who recently took a major step toward artificial bird-like flight.
Professors S.K. Gupta, Ph.D. and Hugh Bruck, Ph.D., have built the first-ever bird robot with independently-moving wings. This development makes the robot’s flight so acrobatic and maneuverable that their “Robo Raven” can do dives and flips and was even attacked by a hawk.
To make their robot feasible, Gupta and Bruck not only had to engineer all of the robotic control systems to behave like a bird, but they also had to use advanced manufacturing technology such as 3-D printing, with design inspirations drawn from nature.
Human beings are still a long way from flying with flapping wings, as Leonardo dreamed in his 16th century Codex on the Flight of Birds, but this innovation brings the dream one step closer to becoming a reality.
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Image Courtesy: University of Maryland