Even the world’s most advanced robotics experts are doing their best to reproduce the effortless elegance and efficiency of birds as they fly in the air, according tomedia, and Now PigeonBot, a researcher at Stanford University, is taking a step toward that goal. It turns out that the way birds fly is not very well understood because the relationship between their dynamic wing shape and the position of individual feathers is super complex.
In response, David Lentink, a professor of mechanical engineering, challenged some of his graduate students to analyze the biomechanics of bird wing deformation mechanisms and to present these insights in a deformed biological hybrid robot with real flying feathers, as well as modelling ordinary pigeons.
They found that birds’ control over feathers was more automatic than manual, and they also found that the microstructure of the feathers formed a one-way magic patch material that allowed them to form a continuous surface rather than a pile of disconnected surfaces.
It is understood that the team created a simple aircraft using 40 pigeon feathers and a light frame – although its lift does not come from feathers but is provided by a propeller mounted in front of them, which provideguidance and control when the robot performs movements similar to when a bird glides.
“The under-driven deformation wing principle proposed here may inspire a more economical and simpler design for aircraft and robots, and their freedom is greater than previously thought,” the researchers wrote in the paper. “
Next, the team will look at more bird species to see if other birds are also using the techniques.