They’ll Populate Dead Birds As Drones
Scientists say that the drones they developed using the corpses of stuffed dead birds could one day be used to spy on wildlife.
The work, recently presented at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ SciTech 2023 Forum, incorporates dead birds into flapping drones and could also enable human surveillance for military purposes.
Wing flapping drones, ornithopters, are inspired by the bird’s flight process and are made using mechanical parts, including propellers, for propulsion.
“INSTEAD OF RELYING ON ARTIFICIAL MATERIALS, WE DESIGN DEAD BIRDS”
Researchers, including Mostafa Hassanalian of New Mexico Tech in the US, say the new findings could be applied to redesign dead birds, rather than relying solely on artificial materials for drone construction.
In the study, scientists combined mummified bird fragments with artificial drone mechanisms that flap their wings to more closely resemble some of the birds’ general appearance and movements.
They conducted two flight trials using bird-like drones, including one that looked like a real pheasant.
The researchers also used three-dimensional flapping and aerodynamic simulators to test the aerodynamic flapping characteristics of the redesigned models. “This allowed the implementation of wing flapping mechanisms and testing the aerodynamics of the flapping drone,” he wrote in the study.
But scientists have discovered that the models created this way are not the most efficient volatiles.
“WING-BREAKING UAVS DON’T DISTURN NATURE”
The researchers say that developing such a drone is difficult, but “very practical for research purposes and will not disturb nature.”
The scientists say the new findings could also help existing flapping drones “look more natural.”
According to the results, they also found that replacing some of the gear parts used in such drones can result in reduced noise and increased longevity.
The researchers also found that developing bendable wrists for such drones would help make the wings more flexible in flight.
Scientists examining taxidermy and drone flight simulations together say that different flight options can be added to drones, which can provide an easier user experience and help develop a more natural flight.
“A final improvement will be to add legs so that the drone can perch and observe without using much battery,” the scientists add in the study.