Image of the Day: The Imitation Game
Image of the Day: The Imitation Game

Image of the Day: The Imitation Game

A bioinspired robot helps researchers study insect flight.

Sep 14, 2018
Sukanya Charuchandra

ABOVE: The robot (DelFly Nimble) in forward flight
HENRI WERIJ, TU DELFT (CC BY-SA 4.0)

An insect-inspired robot with flapping wings is helping researchers study the wide range of flight maneuvers used by insects such as fruit flies, according to a study published yesterday (September 13) in Science. By programming the four-winged robot, the researchers could direct its execution of banked turns, rolls, and flips that insects perform while evading predators.

DelFly Nimble performing a fly-inspired rapid banked turn
TU DELFT (CC BY-SA 4.0)

M. Karásek et al., “A tailless aerial robotic flapper reveals that flies use torque coupling in rapid banked turns,” Science, doi:10.1126/science.aat0350, 2018.