Sunday, September 20, 2009

High-Speed Video of Locusts Could Help Make Better Flying Robots

From Wired Science:

A new study may inspire aeronautical engineers to be more flexible with their designs. That’s because the bends and twists in locusts’ flexible, flapping wings power the insects’ extraordinary long-distance flights, a Sept. 18 Science paper reveals.

Even though researchers have been studying how insects and other creatures fly for a long time, “we still don’t completely understand the aerodynamics and architectures of wings,” comments Tom Daniel of the University of Washington in Seattle, who was not involved in the new study. The new work, Daniel says, uncovers the flight signatures of flapping, flexible wings.

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