Drones Inspired by Insects

Arms that automatically adjust the drone's center of gravity could allow it to fly even in windy conditions.

Researchers from Purdue University have discovered a way to improve drone maneuverability with new arms inspired by insects.

If you've ever flown a drone in the wind, or a subtle breeze, you know that a little bit of wind can cause a lot of problems that stem from the drone’s fixed-arm design.

So the team of researchers designed and patented a drone with arms that automatically fold to make in-flight adjustments. According to the researchers, it was inspired by the wings and flight patterns of insects — although they didn’t share any specific species.

The folding arms make it possible to change the center of gravity in flight, which also increases the drone’s stability and efficiency. The technology could also make it possible for drones to carry heavier payloads.

In the future, the new arms could be useful for search-and-rescue drones because they can morph to fit through narrow spaces and help navigate harsh and unpredictable airspace.

Next, the team is looking for researchers, as well as potential partners to license the technology.

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