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1:03 minutes / 3.7 MB
It took nature
millions of years and endless evolutionary experiments to build
a flying insect. Berkeley electrical engineering professor Ron Fearing
and team looked to nature and the pioneering experiments of Berkeley
biologist Michael Dickinson in an attempt to distill the lessons
of insect flight down to the fundamentals.
began to unlock the aerodynamic secrets of how insects fly, the
engineers found themselves at a disadvantage to nature. Life builds
on its past successes, adapting that which survives to new circumstances.
Features that are useful show up in new creatures.
like Fearing, however, did not have a huge, existing toolbox
of robotic features to draw upon. In terms of parts on the
shelf, there were no muscles, no wings. Despite that, after
three years of effort, his team has met a major milestone.
They have a robotic creature - something that flaps and is
the right size.
more about Michael Dickinson's research, see the Robofly