The pursuit to perfection when it comes to drones has always headed on the same path. Plenty of newer drone designs often imitate those from the animal kingdom. Ideas such as bird wings and tail added to the drone design can help increase flight length and stability. Others add exoskeleton designs from insects in order to increase durability and crash protection.
Today, drones like the Spark still try to go towards the next level. To do this, they have to improve on their designs and improve efficiency. A new drone promises to do just that – with a design taken again from birds. This one however does not have a fixed-wing design. They can flutter, flap, and move individually like of an actual bird.
The Ornithopter drone idea comes with a twist however, in that it has four wings instead of the usual two-wing bird design. The four wings flap and navigate through the air like a bird. The idea is that with double the wing mechanics, the drone can have a more stable flight with faster results. The multiple wings also make the drone more versatile, being able to adapt against situations in the air better than a fixed-wing design.
The wing mechanics also provide two essential pieces to the drone – vertical takeoff and landing. Birds can hover, take flight, and land with minimal space available. With four wings, these actions are easier to pull off and maintain. The four wings are divided into two, with two wings ‘clap’ against each other to create flight.
In action, it looks very similar to a hummingbird taking flight. The hummingbird can hover in place with ease, while also being capable of doing burst movement in a second. The Ornithopter drone’s size also resembles that of a hummingbird’s, meaning the current design would only be for smaller, shorter flights.