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Robotic bat created, not for crime-fighting


Brown University researchers built a robotic bat wing to help them better understand how the animals fly.


Oliver Mehlis

Brown University researchers have created a robotic bat wing.

The wing will allow scientists to better understand how it works in the natural world.

UPI said that the scientists believe that the wing may offer insights into how to create better wings for aircrafts and other similar applications.

The model has allowed scientists to explore the flapping movement in a controlled environment, unlike when a real bat is used.

“We can’t ask a bat to flap at a frequency of eight hertz then raise it to nine hertz so we can see what difference that makes,” said Joseph Bahlman, a graduate student at Brown, reported R&D.

“They don’t really cooperate that way.”

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Flight secrets of bats that have been found are the role of the elasticity in the skin, the structure of the muscles and the ligaments involved.

Scientists are also able to better understand the upstroke and downstroke of the animal.

"We learned a lot about how bats work from trying to duplicate them and having things go wrong," Bahlman said, reported UPI.

Findings from early experiments were published in Bioinspiration and Biomimetics.