Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A new, flying jellyfish-like machine

Date:
November 24, 2013
Source:
American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics
Summary:
Up, up in the sky: It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a . . . jellyfish? That's what researchers have built -- a small vehicle whose flying motion resembles the movements of those boneless, pulsating, water-dwelling creatures. The work demonstrates a new method of flight that could transport miniaturized future robots for surveillance, search-and-rescue, and monitoring of the atmosphere and traffic.

Up, up in the sky: It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a . . . jellyfish?
Credit: Image courtesy of American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics

Up, up in the sky: It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a . . . jellyfish? That's what researchers have built -- a small vehicle whose flying motion resembles the movements of those boneless, pulsating, water-dwelling creatures.

Related Articles


The work, which will be presented at the American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics meeting on November 24 in Pittsburgh, demonstrates a new method of flight that could transport miniaturized future robots for surveillance, search-and-rescue, and monitoring of the atmosphere and traffic.

Many approaches to building small aerial robots try to mimic the flight of insects such as fruit flies. The challenge in that, explained Leif Ristroph of New York University, is that the flapping wing of a fly is inherently unstable. To stay in flight and to maneuver, a fly must constantly monitor its environment to sense every gust of wind or approaching predator, adjusting its flying motion to respond within fractions of a second. To recreate that sort of complex control in a mechanical device -- and to squeeze it into a small robotic frame -- is extremely difficult, Ristroph said.

After some tinkering, he devised a new way of flapping-wing flight that doesn't need any sort of control or feedback system to be stable, and is akin to the swimming motions of jellyfish. The prototype device, weighing just two grams and spanning eight centimeters in width, flies by flapping four wings that are arranged like petals on a flower. While the up-and-down motion of the wings resembles a pulsating jelly,, the device's ultimate fluttering flight may be more similar to that of a moth. The vehicle can hover, ascend, and fly in a particular direction.

In addition to showing that the flying device is indeed stable, Ristroph and Stephen Childress, also at NYU, found that the size of the machine mainly depends on the weight and power of the motor.

The prototype is limited: it's attached to an external power source and can't steer, either autonomously or via remote control. Although researchers are still far away from building a practical robot, these new results show a proof of principle, forming a blueprint for designing more sophisticated and complex vehicles, Ristroph said.

And, he adds, the simplicity of design bodes well for miniaturizing the vehicles. The longstanding goal for researchers has been to shrink flying robots down to the size of a centimeter, allowing them to squeeze into small spaces and fly around undetected. The simpler the better, he said. "And ours is one of the simplest, in that it just uses flapping wings."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics. "A new, flying jellyfish-like machine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131124200049.htm>.
American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics. (2013, November 24). A new, flying jellyfish-like machine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131124200049.htm
American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics. "A new, flying jellyfish-like machine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131124200049.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Forensic Holodeck Creates 3D Crime Scenes

Forensic Holodeck Creates 3D Crime Scenes

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 3, 2015) A holodeck is no longer the preserve of TV sci-fi classic Star Trek, thanks to researchers from the Institute of Forensic Medicine Zurich, who have created what they say is the first system in the world to visualise the 3D data of forensic scans. Jim Drury saw it in operation. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solar Plane Passes New Test Ahead of World Tour

Solar Plane Passes New Test Ahead of World Tour

AFP (Mar. 2, 2015) A solar-powered plane made a third successful test flight in the United Arab Emirates on Monday ahead of a planned round-the-world tour to promote alternative energy. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electric Hydrofoiling Watercraft Delivers Eco-Friendly Thrills

Electric Hydrofoiling Watercraft Delivers Eco-Friendly Thrills

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) The Quadrofoil is a high-tech electric personal watercraft that its makers call a &apos;sports car for the water&apos;. When it hits 10 km/h, the Slovenian-engineered Quadrofoil is lifted above the water onto four wing-like hydrofoils where it &apos;flies&apos; above the surface with minimal water resistance. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Everything You Need To Know About Mobile Payments In 2015

Everything You Need To Know About Mobile Payments In 2015

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) This year, mobile payments might finally catch on. Here are the things you need to know to stay on top of the latest developments. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins