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Building a polyester wing and constucting stainless steel struts to make it flap were hard enough, but would the flapping wings actually generate thrust? Fearing and his team attached the wing and a thorax to a test stand boom, like the arm of a record player, and set the wing flapping at 150 times a second.

After all the hard work, everyone was thrilled to see the wing generate enough force to move the boom horizontally. Now the challenge is to attach two of them to the body of the robotic fly and get them to lift its full weight off the ground.