Robotic bat wing helps uncover flight secrets of real bats

Date:20 June 2013 Tags:, , ,

By building a robotic bat wing, Brown university researchers have uncovered flight secrets of real bats: the function of ligaments, the elasticity of skin, the structural support of musculature, skeletal flexibility, upstroke and downstroke.

The average wingbeat frequency is 8.4 flaps per second. By making adjustments between seven and 10 flaps per second, the bat can fine-tune lift and thrust.

With 25 joints and 34 degrees of motion, bat wings are more complicated than they appear. To better understand how the mammals fly, Brown University researchers created a life-sized biomechanically accurate replica of a lesser dog faced fruit bat’s wing. The US Air Force Office of Scientific Research funded the research efforts, which could influence the design of flapping-wing unmanned aircraft.

Catch their robotic bat wing in action…

 

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