Inspired by nature, (and one has to assume, the shame of constantly being upstaged by Morgan Freeman’s character in The Dark Knight) scientists Alireza Ramezani, Soon-Jo Hung and Seth Hutchinson have teamed together to build a flying robot that looks and flies like a bat.
Bats have one of the most complicated and intricate flying mechanisms in the animal kingdom, which allows them to swoop and dodge through extremely crowded caves where they are afforded very little room. Scientists wanted to replicate both their speed and extreme maneuverability, and so they started by studying the biomechanics of the animal itself.
They found that bats had 40 different joints in their wings, along with bones that would deform with individual wing flaps. Their first task when building their robot was to simplify the structure massively; no robot with that many actuated joints would be able to fly well. They decided to have four movable joints in the flight, and then developed an elastic silicon-based membrane skin to spread over the joints. Check out the video of it moving here. It’s incredibly interesting.
While the bat is able to glide for long distances, and execute things like bank rolls and dives, it is unable to fly upwards or perch. These are things that the scientists working on this project will want to do going forward, potentially
Engineers and physicists should look up the principles of flight, and how lift is generated in aeroplanes and how this is different to the lift generated by birds and insects. Biologists should look at how different animals fly, and how wingspan affects different birds and animals. Materials Science students can look at modern trends in creating alloys and composites that mimic animal structures and properties.
- Cambridge Law Test overview If you’re applying to read Law at Cambridge you will probably need... Read more >
- 5 Easy Ways To Support Your Son Or Daughter Before Their Oxbridge Interviews The weeks before the Oxford and Cambridge interviews are a... Read more >
- What’s the Most Important Part of Your Application? An application to Oxford or Cambridge involves various different elements,... Read more >
- Stats report: our annual survey Every year, we survey hundreds of applicants who applied the... Read more >
- PAT mini mock paper & answers The Physics Aptitude Test or PAT is required by Oxford... Read more >
- Download a Physics Personal Statement “Over the past few years I have become gradually more... Read more >
- Oxford or Cambridge? Many applicants know that they want the best, but when... Read more >
- For Your Reference: Admissions Test Factfiles The majority of Oxford courses, and an increasing number of... Read more >
- Download an English Personal Statement “My background as a student at a European School, including... Read more >
- English: answer like a pro We have a lot of questions year on year from... Read more >
- Social and Political Sciences Reading List We’ve brought together a wide-ranging bibliography to help those applying... Read more >
- Statistics: 2015 Annual Survey Want to find out what your chances are of getting... Read more >
- Oxford and Cambridge Access Schemes Oxford and Cambridge aim to offer places to the best... Read more >
- Science Puzzle: experimenting with mice… We asked our Medicine graduate Jennifer to tell us a... Read more >
- The Differences Between Similar Courses At Oxford and Cambridge For some applicants, deciding between applying to Oxford or Cambridge... Read more >
- Mathematics Reading List Studying Mathematics at university requires a different approach to studying... Read more >
- 20 Real-Life Oxford and Cambridge Interview Questions The Oxford and Cambridge interviews are notorious for having academically... Read more >
- Pooling: Fast Facts You may have heard people talk about “pooling”, or maybe... Read more >
- What makes a good interview? The notion of an academic interview with prominent Oxbridge academics is a major... Read more >
- ELAT mini mock paper If you’re applying to read English at Oxford, you will... Read more >
- MAT mini mock paper & answers If you are planning to apply to Oxford to read... Read more >
- How is the BMAT marked? The BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) is marked significantly differently from... Read more >
- June’s Top News Stories Read more about some of the biggest news stories to... Read more >
- March’s Top News Stories Read more about some of the biggest news stories to... Read more >