Nine New Technologies To Blow Your Mind

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A drone that flies like a bird

A drone developed by Dario Floreano’s team in Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, is geared toward flying more like a bird than like small helicopters, as most available multi-rotors currently do.

Floreano and his team wanted to develop a bio-inspired drone that could meet various aerodynamic requirements. It had to be capable of flying between obstacles, making sharp turns and coping with strong winds. By changing its geometry mid-flight, their drone can meet all these criteria. The moving part is located on the outer wings. It works like a bird’s quill feathers, which are the large feathers at the edge of the wing.

After observing birds in flight, researchers from Laboratory of Intelligent Systems had the idea of building an energy-efficient winged drone capable of changing its wingspan, flying at high speed and moving through tight spaces (Image courtesy: École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)
After observing birds in flight, researchers from Laboratory of Intelligent Systems had the idea of building an energy-efficient winged drone capable of changing its wingspan, flying at high speed and moving through tight spaces (Image courtesy: École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)

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