Joint Centers of Excellence Program

Bird-Inspired Super-Maneuverable Flapping Robots

Flying birds are extremely maneuverable and versatile. They can hover, fly fast, break, turn on a dime, amongst many other feats, of which the biomechanical basis is poorly understood. In this project we will unravel the physical mechanisms that enable birds to be such versatile and maneuverable flyers using an array of integrated techniques ranging from in-flight aerodynamic force measurement to tomographic 3D flow diagnostics. These advanced experimental techniques enable us to get unique insights in the aerodynamics of bird wings. We will harness the essence of these findings in a new class of super-maneuverable bio-inspired flying robots that combine the very best of engineering and biology.