Bat Bot is the next step in flying bots or as more commonly known as quads. On the surface, quads seem like a helicopter but what is not as apparent is they are also known as flying robots. With drones becoming more perfected, the next step is introducing aspects of nature into these designs, or in this case, the aerial dynamics of a bat. Engineers have looked for bat bots to mimic complex motions and challenges recreated in a flight.
Recent discoveries by scientists at have taken the robotic bat designs with complex with a breakthrough wing design as reported by Cal Tech Edu. The overall drive to succeed at this research is to make robots fly more efficiently.
Bat Bot Super Light Construction
The bat bot weighs a whopping 93 grams and is basically looks like a bat with a one-foot wingspan. The wing shape is the most impressive part of this bot given the complexity of its movements to flex-twist and extends in elbows and shoulders, basically any area where there would be such a movement for bats. The unforeseen benefit to all this is the efficient use of energy based on the movements of the wings. This is due to the use of 9 joints rather than the bat’s 40.
What is more remarkable is that each joint is 3D printed and five joints are individually controlled motors and covered by a soft, lightweight, durable silicone membrane just 56 microns thick. The bonus behind all of this the ability to change a shape of the wing structure in flight with compromising its smooth aerodynamic surface. All of this is contained in a delicate dance of being controlled by the onboard computer.
Bat Bot And The Search For The Holy Grail
Like many issues with robotic flights, the battery life is still needing to be perfected for long flights. Also, if there is a crash, the electronics can be salvaged and learned from. As any drone company can attest, sometimes issues not considered do come up such as battery placement, etc. Think of the other applications, though. What if you had a search and rescue? The agility of such a bot may be able to get you into places you would not otherwise.
As Caltech professor and Jet Propulsion Laboratory researcher, Soon-JO Chung stated in a recent JPL press conference, “Bat Bots are the Holy Grail of Aerial Robotics.” This process highlights the genius of mimic nature’s perfection. It may take some time for this process to be complete but where it will lead can only be a boost and perhaps create a marriage of various technology fields.
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