3D fabrication, 3D-printed components, 3D-Printed Drone, aerobatics, America, Drone Mimics Nature, independently flapping wings, Maryland Robotics Center, mimicry, Robo Raven, RoboRaven, Technology, United States, usa
The march toward developing drones that mimic nature continues unabated. Robobee has received a lot of attention lately for taking flight as a possible replacement pollinator for the declining natural bee population, while also offering the dual-use swarm surveillance and weapons’ capabilities sought after by the military.
The latest drone to come out of development utilizes 3D-printed components to produce a first of its kind: independently flapping wings. So effective is its mimicry, that product developers documented Robo Raven being attacked by a real hawk in the promo video below from Maryland Robotics Center:
It is the independently flapping wings enabled by 3D fabrication of its overall structure that offer this stunning level of drone evolution:
What enables Robo Raven’s impressive aerobatics? Independently flapping wings. It took the team eight years and a number of failed prototypes to arrive at this stage. Wing independence requires a heavier microcontroller and battery. To trim the robot’s total weight, the team turned to modern fabrication techniques to 3D print and laser cut light polymer parts. As for those tricky moves, with their independently flapping wings the team can now program and run any wing motion they like.