Bionic Bat

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The company Festo has created a robot that looks and flies like a bat. It is called the Bionic Flying Fox. The Flying Fox takes its inspiration from large fruit bats, and Festo added light central structure so that the wings could carry the robot and stay in the air for as long as possible. In order to support the body, they used a soft yet flexible membrane to make the wings. The membrane is made of a modified elastane that is similar to a very strong Spandex, it is airtight and won’t rip or crease.  It can also fly semi-autonomously because of communication with an embedded motion-tracking system. The system uses two infrared cameras that sit atop a pan-tilt unit. This helps the robot know where to go. The flying fox is a very interesting creation in robotics.

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This is related to engineering because the robot had to be designed with certain specifics in mind. Engineers had to find different ways to keep the robot up in the air. Technological engineers also had to create programs so that the bat could fly.