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Časoris
Inženirji so zasnovo oblikovali po nogah sokola selca. Vir: Pixabay
Inženirji so zasnovo oblikovali po nogah sokola selca. Vir: Pixabay

Why are we fascinated by birds?

Birds can fly; this boundless freedom has inspired humanity throughout history.

But it is also important that they can land on almost any surface.

This characteristic has long intrigued scientists.

A team of Stanford University engineers has now created a robot that can sit, carry and hunt objects even in the air. It can even catch a tennis ball!

Inspiration for his feet and legs was found in the falcon.

We were surprised that the birds perform the same grips when landing in the air, regardless of the surface on which they land. They allow their feet to adapt to the diversity and complexity of the surface.

William Roderick

Each robot leg has two motors; one takes care of moving back and forth and the other regulates the grip of the surface.

A special gripping mechanism at the end of the leg absorbs the landing energy and converts it into a gripping force. Triggers, unfolds and closes in 20 milliseconds.

The robot can land on any surface – dry or wet, smooth or rough.

What can this scientific breakthrough help with?

Scientists believe that such flying robots could be involved in search and rescue, or monitoring wildfires.

To date, they have had to hover in such cases, but from now on they could land in many places and thus save energy.

It would also be easier for ecologists to collect data with them, for example in inaccessible forests.

Bird-inspired robots are also compatible with other technologies, not just drones.

»We want to be able to land anywhere – that’s what makes this technology exciting,« says one of the participating experts, David Lentink.

Glossary

To absorb is to take in or soak up (energy or a liquid or other substance) by chemical or physical action

Points To Consider

  1. Which birds are good fliers?
  2. Which means of transport imitates birds?
  3. What disadvantage of drones does this invention solve?

***

The original version of this article was published on January 14th.

English translation courtesy of JL FlannerTotal Slovenia News, an English language website with news from and about Slovenia.

Sandra

Hanžič je novinarka, ki jo ob spremljanju vsakodnevnega dogajanja najbolj veselijo druženje s prijatelji, potovanja in sprehodi v naravo.

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