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Researchers build robotic hummingbird wing

Researchers at the Extreme Fluids Lab at Los Alamos National Laboratory are trying a new approach to understanding the flight patterns of hummingbirds: robots.

According to an article at Live Science, researcher B.J. Ballakumar has built a robotic wing designed to mimic the hummingbird, which doesn’t flap its wings like other birds, but instead oscillates them in a “figure-eight pattern.”

Balkumar and his colleagues believe such a design could be excellent for hovering machines used for surveillance and other applications.

One of the things that he and his team are looking for is how hummingbirds, which are some of the tiniest birds on the planet, are able to not be blown off balance by gusts of wing.

If they can find the mathematical algorithms that allow hummingbirds to steady themselves in blustery conditions, the researchers can then transfer such technology to robotic devices.

Interested in learning more about hummingbirds? Check out our comprehensive bird learning section for more articles on the hummingbird and other bird species.

1 Comment

  1. I love these little birds,but my being a diabetic made me ponder this question”can hummingbirds be diabetic? Do they have a pancreas? Being that they depend on sugar to survive,I just thought I’d ask. I know it seems silly and I posed this question on a diabetes forum that I belong to and got quite an array of responses.some humorous. I am always thinking of things a little on the far side.

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