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Default The First Robotic Hummingbird ~ - >>   Show Printable Version  Show Printable Version   Email this Page  Email this Page   10-10-2011, 05:55 AM

Flight, Reimagined: The First Robotic Hummingbird
By Logan Ward

No thrusters, no propellers, just flapping wings. These Breakthrough innovators embraced the challenge of building a tiny aircraft under those constraints. Their creation, a machine that look and flies just like a hummingbird, shows the wild potential of tiny remote-controlled aircraft.



The assignment was daunting: Build a remote-controlled aerial vehicle; make it tiny but highly maneuverable; install a camera so that pilots can navigate it into buildings using only a live video stream; and model the craft after an actual bird. "There could be no thrusters, no propellers," says Todd Hylton, who oversaw the project for DARPA's Nano Air Vehicle program—just two wings that flap.

Matt Keennon, an engineer for California-based AeroVironment, led the team that met this challenge, building the first-ever robotic hummingbird. "As far as we know, this is a new form of man-made flight," says the lifelong model-airplane fanatic. Altering wing speed changes thrust, while slight modulations in wing angle send the craft zipping off in any direction. It can also hover in place against gusting wind. The team custom-built most of the aircraft by hand using machine tools, microscopes and an old-school Swiss watchmaker's lathe to fashion parts, including tiny flanged pulleys in the flapping-wing transmission. The whole craft, including motors, battery, communication systems and video camera, weighs less than a AA battery.

The Pentagon hopes the Nano Hummingbird will usher in a new class of aerial surveillance vehicles capable of identifying targets, collecting intel and locating hostages indoors, not just on the battlefield. Law enforcement agencies might also use the drone to gather evidence—during standoffs or drug raids, for instance—and for search-and-rescue missions. During last spring's nuclear meltdown in Japan, says Hylton, "it would have been great to have a small vehicle to fly into the reactors to see what was going on before sending in humans."

 



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Default Re: The First Robotic Hummingbird ~ - >>   Show Printable Version  Show Printable Version   Email this Page  Email this Page   10-10-2011, 09:43 PM

Wahhh, *Wondered* Its Amazin Robotic Technology !!

 





bE driveN wiTh puRpOse, Be r313n71355 in your alιgnмenт;
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pAy n0 mInd to the ∂ιsιмραssισηε∂ เ๓ק๏tєภt ђคtєгร

.. нoolιgan
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Default Re: The First Robotic Hummingbird ~ - >>   Show Printable Version  Show Printable Version   Email this Page  Email this Page   10-11-2011, 02:28 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morash View Post
Wahhh, *Wondered* Its Amazin Robotic Technology !!
Yeah...it is

 



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