Dragonflies to Aid Future Flying Robot Design

November 25, 2011 / No Comments

Nature has always proved to be an inspiration for tech innovations. It is now the turn of dragonfly to inspire technological innovations in Robotics. A Duke University team has put together their hopes on the dragonflies’ flight dynamics to create better flying robots.

Dragonfly Dragonflies to Aid Future Flying Robot Design

They are reportedly dong this by fixing tiny sensors on the tiny creatures. Complex flight patterns of the winged creature have fascinated the researchers, which they hope to duplicate to the mechanical form.

Dragonflies have the unique property of attacking their prey mid-flight. Their supple design permits them to attain speeds of even 97 km per hour.

Matt Reynolds, an electrical engineer from Duke University, reckons that the insects’ flight is like swimming smoothly through the air.

A sensor attached would gain significant data on how the dragonfly moves about. Data is transmitted via a Wi-Fi system after being collected from the insect’s nerve cords.

Neuro-signals from insect’s eyes to brain are collected and interpreted. Attaching a chip was never a problem for the insects and they weighed only 38 milligrams – which is a typical weight of a postage stamp.

Real time electrical signals received and interpreted from different flying dragonflies have proven remarkable. The team hopes to do initiate flight experiments in full mode during the next few months in a specially designed flight ground.

Seems like dragonflies can give science more than we would have ever imagined!