Recent updates in the field of drones may make you think we are living in the world of comic books. In what looks and sounds like something Batman would use against the villains of a comic book, drones may soon use to enhance themselves. And in fact, this particular drone technology research may even rival Batman’s own gadgets. While it may not be useful to stop crime in Gotham, the information can improve drone designs considerably going forward.
Bat Technology for Drones
In Lund University, Sweden, researchers are looking into bats for design and function in future next-generation drones. The focus of the research is the hover motion of bats, which they hope to translate in a plastic or metal variation for drones. The process involves watching bats flying around in slow motion. By using high speed cameras to record bats in their natural habitat, researchers get their data. These occur by recording the bats, and slowing down the process to see how their wings and body move during the duration. By seeing each change at a frame-by-frame view, researchers can see everything they need to study.
Bat wings can give new insight on drones hovering more efficiently, flying longer distances, and even dodging obstacles in the air. Bat wing layout and weight may also improve drone designs, while also giving them a lighter frame. These, of course, can create smaller and more portable drones than ever before.
Newer drones have already started borrowing traits and designs from nature. Drones with insect-like designs show an immense increase in durability, with their capability of cushioning crashes. Others even use insect wings for flight, creating very small drones that can still travel the distance. Now, bats are in the mix, giving a better understanding to flight patterns and efficiency.
Will the future of drones depend on nature over more man-made designs?