When building flying machines, many manufacturers inspired by the birds, and of particular interest among them is a Hummingbird. Some groups of engineers have already managed to collect robotic copies of these small creatures, but they were all quite large and less maneuverable than the real birds. It seems that researchers from Purdue University has finally managed to make the most realistic robot Hummingbird that has the same dimensions and weight, and performs the same set of dizzying stunts in the air.
The first is to talk about the dimensions of the robot: its wingspan is 17 cm and weight is 12 grams — just like a real Hummingbird. With all this, he is able to lift a 27-gram load that is twice its own weight. The robot design printed on a 3D printer, and the wings are made of carbon fiber and membranes that oscillate with a frequency of 40 Hz.
To teach a robot to fly, engineers studied the aerial maneuvers of these hummingbirds has recreated them in the algorithms and created a realistic computer model. Thus he, like hummingbirds, able to perform aerial stunts such as hovering and turning 180 degrees in just 0.2 seconds. With its compact size, the robot is able to fly in places where other devices simply don’t fit.
It is noteworthy that the robot is virtually “blind” — he can’t see the objects and builds a map of the surrounding space based on data from the infrared sensors. This can be useful in rescue operations in dark places, but the developers still intend to equip the robot with any visual sensor.
However, before implementing these innovations, engineers should increase its lifting force. After all, developers have yet to add to the design of small batteries — the current version is powered by an external source of energy and its movements are constrained by wires.
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