The new robo bat developed at North Carolina State University, USA, utilizes the artificial muscle concept, for flapping wings.The artificial muscle is made of a shape-memory metal alloy and smart matrials that responds to electricty. The advantage of using smaller flying robots over bigger flying counterparts with wings are their maneuverability in tight spaces and aerodynamic efficiency. An extensive research of bats skeleton and muscular system were performed before developing the robot. The fully assembled robot weighs just 6 grams. The shape memory alloy is a material that returns to its original position after the force effect is removed. During motion, the muscle wires change the electrical resistance, which enables simulaneous motion and sensory input. Needless to say, the ever decreasing size of sensors enables such an application. In order for the bat to be autonomous, it still needs algorithms to improve its flight capability. A remote control application seems like a much more closer possibility at this point.
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