Next time you see a bat flying about the evening sky, you’d better look close to make sure you’re not being observed by one of these miniature flying robot bats instead of the real thing.
Researchers at North Carolina State University are developing a micro-aerial vehicle (MAV) built with a body structure that mimics a bat. These pint-sized flying bat-bots could be used for unmanned surveillance, military operations, exploration and rescue/recovery missions. Student researcher Gheorghe Bunget and Dr. Stefan Seelecke designed the robo-bat to flap its wings like a bat, and extensively studied the way real bats fly in designing their creation.
The teensy mechanical chiroptera weighs in at only about 1/6th of an ounce, and is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. And the best part – they’re working on giving the bat “metal muscles” created from “smart materials”. Can I get some too? Construction of the final, functional bat is still underway, but I’m hopeful we’ll see one of these take flight in the not too distant future. In the mean time, you’ll just have to settle for one of these.