Washington: German scientists have designed a new versatile design of Micro air vehicle (MAV) that will be able to flap, glide and hover like a bird.
Inspired by birds, the new aircraft combines flapping wings that allow it to fly at slow speeds and hover with the ability to glide, ensuring good quality images from any on-board camera.
“In birds, the combination of demanding tasks like take-off, traveling long distances, manoeuvring in confined areas and landing is daily practice,” PhD researcher William Thielicke from the Biomimetics-Innovation-Centre in Germany, said.
The innovative design was inspired by one bird in particular, the swift.
“We know that swifts are very manoeuvrable and they can glide very efficiently. So we thought these birds would be a very good starting point for an energy efficient flapping-wing MAV,” Thielicke stated.
While fixed wing MAVs are energy efficient, their manoeuvrability is low.
The new design would allow the flapping wing MAV to glide, improving energy efficiency and ensuring good images, but when needed it can also slow its flight and manoeuvre in confined spaces.
“Although the models are not yet ready to be used, initial tests are positive and we hope that this design will combine the best of both worlds,” the researcher added.
Their invention will be presented at the Society for Experimental Biology Annual Conference in Glasgow on the 2nd of July.