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Interface Focus

Florian T Muijres, Nicole A Iwasaki, Michael J Elzinga, Johan M Melis, Michael H Dickinson
Using high-speed videography, we investigated how fruit flies compensate for unilateral wing damage, in which loss of area on one wing compromises both weight support and roll torque equilibrium. Our results show that flies control for unilateral damage by rolling their body towards the damaged wing and by adjusting the kinematics of both the intact and damaged wings. To compensate for the reduction in vertical lift force due to damage, flies elevate wingbeat frequency. Because this rise in frequency increases the flapping velocity of both wings, it has the undesired consequence of further increasing roll torque...
February 6, 2017: Interface Focus
William R T Roderick, Mark R Cutkosky, David Lentink
Small aerial robots are limited to short mission times because aerodynamic and energy conversion efficiency diminish with scale. One way to extend mission times is to perch, as biological flyers do. Beyond perching, small robot flyers benefit from manoeuvring on surfaces for a diverse set of tasks, including exploration, inspection and collection of samples. These opportunities have prompted an interest in bimodal aerial and surface locomotion on both engineered and natural surfaces. To accomplish such novel robot behaviours, recent efforts have included advancing our understanding of the aerodynamics of surface approach and take-off, the contact dynamics of perching and attachment and making surface locomotion more efficient and robust...
February 6, 2017: Interface Focus
Ivo G Ros, Partha S Bhagavatula, Huai-Ti Lin, Andrew A Biewener
Flying animals must successfully contend with obstacles in their natural environments. Inspired by the robust manoeuvring abilities of flying animals, unmanned aerial systems are being developed and tested to improve flight control through cluttered environments. We previously examined steering strategies that pigeons adopt to fly through an array of vertical obstacles (VOs). Modelling VO flight guidance revealed that pigeons steer towards larger visual gaps when making fast steering decisions. In the present experiments, we recorded three-dimensional flight kinematics of pigeons as they flew through randomized arrays of horizontal obstacles (HOs)...
February 6, 2017: Interface Focus
M Di Luca, S Mintchev, G Heitz, F Noca, D Floreano
Small-winged drones can face highly varied aerodynamic requirements, such as high manoeuvrability for flight among obstacles and high wind resistance for constant ground speed against strong headwinds that cannot all be optimally addressed by a single aerodynamic profile. Several bird species solve this problem by changing the shape of their wings to adapt to the different aerodynamic requirements. Here, we describe a novel morphing wing design composed of artificial feathers that can rapidly modify its geometry to fulfil different aerodynamic requirements...
February 6, 2017: Interface Focus
Roi Gurka, Krishnamoorthy Krishnan, Hadar Ben-Gida, Adam J Kirchhefer, Gregory A Kopp, Christopher G Guglielmo
Analysis of the aerodynamics of flapping wings has yielded a general understanding of how birds generate lift and thrust during flight. However, the role of unsteady aerodynamics in avian flight due to the flapping motion still holds open questions in respect to performance and efficiency. We studied the flight of three distinctive bird species: western sandpiper (Calidris mauri), European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) and American robin (Turdus migratorius) using long-duration, time-resolved particle image velocimetry, to better characterize and advance our understanding of how birds use unsteady flow features to enhance their aerodynamic performances during flapping flight...
February 6, 2017: Interface Focus
Konstantinos Karydis, Vijay Kumar
Recent advances in design, sensing and control have led to aerial robots that offer great promise in a range of real-world applications. However, one critical open question centres on how to improve the energetic efficiency of aerial robots so that they can be useful in practical situations. This review paper provides a survey on small-scale aerial robots (i.e. less than 1 m(2) area foot print, and less than 3 kg weight) from the point of view of energetics. The paper discusses methods to improve the efficiency of aerial vehicles, and reports on recent findings by the authors and other groups on modelling the impact of aerodynamics for the purpose of building energy-aware motion planners and controllers...
February 6, 2017: Interface Focus
Alejandro Ortega Ancel, Rodney Eastwood, Daniel Vogt, Carter Ithier, Michael Smith, Rob Wood, Mirko Kovač
Many insects are well adapted to long-distance migration despite the larger energetic costs of flight for small body sizes. To optimize wing design for next-generation flying micro-robots, we analyse butterfly wing shapes and wing orientations at full scale using numerical simulations and in a low-speed wind tunnel at 2, 3.5 and 5 m s(-1). The results indicate that wing orientations which maximize wing span lead to the highest glide performance, with lift to drag ratios up to 6.28, while spreading the fore-wings forward can increase the maximum lift produced and thus improve versatility...
February 6, 2017: Interface Focus
J D Crall, J J Chang, R L Oppenheimer, S A Combes
Natural environments are characterized by variable wind that can pose significant challenges for flying animals and robots. However, our understanding of the flow conditions that animals experience outdoors and how these impact flight performance remains limited. Here, we combine laboratory and field experiments to characterize wind conditions encountered by foraging bumblebees in outdoor environments and test the effects of these conditions on flight. We used radio-frequency tags to track foraging activity of uniquely identified bumblebee (Bombus impatiens) workers, while simultaneously recording local wind flows...
February 6, 2017: Interface Focus
Robert Siddall, Alejandro Ortega Ancel, Mirko Kovač
Aerial robots capable of locomotion in both air and water would enable novel mission profiles in complex environments, such as water sampling after floods or underwater structural inspections. The design of such a vehicle is challenging because it implies significant propulsive and structural design trade-offs for operation in both fluids. In this paper, we present a unique Aquatic Micro Air Vehicle (AquaMAV), which uses a reconfigurable wing to dive into the water from flight, inspired by the plunge diving strategy of water diving birds in the family Sulidae...
February 6, 2017: Interface Focus
Nathan Phillips, Kevin Knowles, Richard J Bomphrey
The wings of many insect species including crane flies and damselflies are petiolate (on stalks), with the wing planform beginning some distance away from the wing hinge, rather than at the hinge. The aerodynamic impact of flapping petiolate wings is relatively unknown, particularly on the formation of the lift-augmenting leading-edge vortex (LEV): a key flow structure exploited by many insects, birds and bats to enhance their lift coefficient. We investigated the aerodynamic implications of petiolation P using particle image velocimetry flow field measurements on an array of rectangular wings of aspect ratio 3 and petiolation values of P = 1-3...
February 6, 2017: Interface Focus
Cosima Schunk, Sharon M Swartz, Kenneth S Breuer
Aspect ratio (AR) is one parameter used to predict the flight performance of a bat species based on wing shape. Bats with high AR wings are thought to have superior lift-to-drag ratios and are therefore predicted to be able to fly faster or to sustain longer flights. By contrast, bats with lower AR wings are usually thought to exhibit higher manoeuvrability. However, the half-span ARs of most bat wings fall into a narrow range of about 2.5-4.5. Furthermore, these predictions do not take into account the wide variation in flapping motion observed in bats...
February 6, 2017: Interface Focus
Niels C Rattenborg
Wakefulness enables animals to interface adaptively with the environment. Paradoxically, in insects to humans, the efficacy of wakefulness depends on daily sleep, a mysterious, usually quiescent state of reduced environmental awareness. However, several birds fly non-stop for days, weeks or months without landing, questioning whether and how they sleep. It is commonly assumed that such birds sleep with one cerebral hemisphere at a time (i.e. unihemispherically) and with only the corresponding eye closed, as observed in swimming dolphins...
February 6, 2017: Interface Focus
Marco KleinHeerenbrink, Anders Hedenström
To maintain the quality of the feathers, birds regularly undergo moult. It is widely accepted that moult affects flight performance, but the specific aerodynamic consequences have received relatively little attention. Here we measured the components of aerodynamic drag from the wake behind a gliding jackdaw (Corvus monedula) at different stages of its natural wing moult. We found that span efficiency was reduced (lift induced drag increased) and the wing profile drag coefficient was increased. Both effects best correlated with the corresponding reduction in spanwise camber...
February 6, 2017: Interface Focus
Pakpong Chirarattananon, Yufeng Chen, E Farrell Helbling, Kevin Y Ma, Richard Cheng, Robert J Wood
With the goal of operating a biologically inspired robot autonomously outside of laboratory conditions, in this paper, we simulated wind disturbances in a laboratory setting and investigated the effects of gusts on the flight dynamics of a millimetre-scale flapping-wing robot. Simplified models describing the disturbance effects on the robot's dynamics are proposed, together with two disturbance rejection schemes capable of estimating and compensating for the disturbances. The proposed methods are experimentally verified...
February 6, 2017: Interface Focus
Alexander Widmann, Cameron Tropea
The impact of chord-based Reynolds number on the formation of leading-edge vortices (LEVs) on unsteady pitching flat plates is investigated. The influence of secondary flow structures on the shear layer feeding the LEV and the subsequent topological change at the leading edge as the result of viscous processes are demonstrated. Time-resolved velocity fields are measured using particle image velocimetry simultaneously in two fields of view to correlate local and global flow phenomena in order to identify unsteady boundary-layer separation and the subsequent flow structures...
February 6, 2017: Interface Focus
Hermann Wagner, Matthias Weger, Michael Klaas, Wolfgang Schröder
Owls are an order of birds of prey that are known for the development of a silent flight. We review here the morphological adaptations of owls leading to silent flight and discuss also aerodynamic properties of owl wings. We start with early observations (until 2005), and then turn to recent advances. The large wings of these birds, resulting in low wing loading and a low aspect ratio, contribute to noise reduction by allowing slow flight. The serrations on the leading edge of the wing and the velvet-like surface have an effect on noise reduction and also lead to an improvement of aerodynamic performance...
February 6, 2017: Interface Focus
J Tank, L Smith, G R Spedding
The flight of many birds and bats, and their robotic counterparts, occurs over a range of chord-based Reynolds numbers from 1 × 10(4) to 1.5 × 10(5). It is precisely over this range where the aerodynamics of simple, rigid, fixed wings becomes extraordinarily sensitive to small changes in geometry and the environment, with two sets of consequences. The first is that practical lifting devices at this scale will likely not be simple, rigid, fixed wings. The second is that it becomes non-trivial to make baseline comparisons for experiment and computation, when either one can be wrong...
February 6, 2017: Interface Focus
Yu Zeng, Kenrick Lam, Yuexiang Chen, Mengsha Gong, Zheyuan Xu, Robert Dudley
Numerous wingless arthropods as well as diverse vertebrates are capable of mid-air righting. We studied the biomechanics of the aerial righting reflex in first-instar nymphs of the stick insect Extatosoma tiaratum. After being released upside-down, insects reoriented dorsoventrally and stabilized body posture via active modulation of limb positions and associated aerodynamic torques. We identified specific reflexes for bilaterally asymmetric leg displacements which elicit body rotation and subsequently stabilize mid-air posture...
February 6, 2017: Interface Focus
Nguyễn T K Thanh
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 6, 2016: Interface Focus
Etelka Tombácz, Katalin Farkas, Imre Földesi, Márta Szekeres, Erzsébet Illés, Ildikó Y Tóth, Daniel Nesztor, Tamás Szabó
Nanoparticles do not exist in thermodynamical equilibrium because of high surface free energy, thus they have only kinetic stability. Spontaneous changes can be delayed by designed surface coating. In biomedical applications, superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) require an optimized coating in order to fulfil the expectation of medicine regulatory agencies and ultimately that of biocompatibility. In this work, we show the high surface reactivity of naked SPIONs due to ≡Fe-OH sites, which can react with H(+)/OH(-) to form pH- and ionic strength-dependent charges...
December 6, 2016: Interface Focus
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