London: Scientists have come up with "nature-inspired" drones or flying robots that will eventually be used for everything from military surveillance to search and rescue.
14 research teams have come up with different experimental drones that include a robot with bird-like grasping appendages, and some that form a robo-swarm or flock, inspired by birds, bats, insects and even flying snakes.
Aerial robotics expert Prof David Lentink, from Stanford University in California, said that that this sort of bio-inspiration is pushing drone technology forward, because evolution has solved challenges that drone engineers are just beginning to address.
A team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania has engineered a raptor-like appendage for a drone, enabling it to grasp objects at high speeds by swooping in like a bird of prey.
The studies have been published in the journal Bioinspiration and Biomimetics.