A little while back, a group of engineers from the University of Illinois and California Institute of Technology was able to develop a new contribution in robotics with their Bat Bot that mimics a bat. The findings were detailed by the scientists in the journal of Science Robotics.
Previously made flying robots were inspired by birds and some other insects. But the attempts to come up with robots that can mimic bats were just half met due to the complexities of the bat's wings including the multitude joints, according to the researchers. After a series of study and research, the scientists were able to figure out the key to mastering the bat's wings and will be only used in their Bat Bot.
According to the study's co-author Soon-Jo Chung, they have an advance progress on their B2 robot that can now fly, swoop and turn just like a bat. The team has always aimed to come up with a robot that is soft-winged, safe and energy efficient. He also added, "Bat flight is the Holy Grail of aerial robotics".
The latest B2 robot can now fly with its wings that are made of bones from carbon fiber and a 3D printed plastic for its socket joints. It is all covered with an ultrathin, durable, and soft skin silicone-based on 56 microns thick. B2 can flap its wings 10 times in a second with a micro motor that is attached to its backbone. It was also tracked during the experiment that the Bot can fly at a speed of 18.37 ft per second.
In addition, the Bat-Bot can also handle straight dives as well as sharp turns with a speed of 45.9 ft per second. This Bot was built having a weight of only 3.3 ounces or 93 grams with a wingspan of 18.5 inches which is similar to a fruit bat from Egypt.
The scientists behind this creative contribution to robotics have never been more inspired and focus on continuing their research. It could achieve much more improvements for the Bot's flight from perching right, to side up, and upside down according to Chung who is also one of the researchers.