Meet Ro-bat, Brown University's Robotic Bat Wing

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The strong, flapping flight of bats offers great possibilities for the design of small aircraft, among many other applications. By building a robotic bat wing, Brown University researchers have uncovered flight secrets of real bats. Bat wing project leader and NSF Graduate Research Fellow Joseph Bahlman says the faux flapper generates data that could never be collected directly from live animals, and may lead to improved aircraft efficiency and help in the design of small flapping aircraft.

Science Nation - Fascinating Flight

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Using wind tunnels, lasers and high-speed cameras, University of Montana researcher Ken Dial studies ground birds for clues about the origins and mechanics of flight.

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Science Nation - Dragonflies in Motion

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Next time you see a dragonfly, try to watch it catch its next meal on the go. Good luck! "Unless we film it in high speed, we can't see whether it caught the prey, but when it gets back to its perch, if we see it chewing, we know that it was successful," says Stacey Combes a biomechanist at Harvard University. With support from the National Science Foundation, she and her team are using high speed cameras to help them study how dragonflies pull off complicated aerial feats that include...