Bird flight inspires drone design

A drone that conserves energy by gliding on currents is inspired by the way birds fly. Melbourne researchers are developing them to detect and glide on natural air currents to conserve energy Рsomething birds have been doing for millennia.

In the right conditions, the drones could glide between buildings and skyscrapers for hours on end, barely expending any battery power, project leader Dr Reece Clothier of RMIT University says.

He and his colleagues are working on specialised sensors that will enable autonomous drones to detect surrounding wind patterns in real time.

The drones could use the information to navigate towards favourable updrafts, while also avoiding damaging eddies and turbulent air. … (Read more)