Slow Motion Ornithopter

Seeing this video makes me hope that one day I’ll be flying in a giant robotic butterfly. Researchers in Japan are working on this small ornithopter, a flying device with wings that are modeled after those of a butterfly. The idea is to one day have commercial airplanes with flapping-wing flight just like birds.

Above is a high speed video demonstrating the small scale design of the ornithopter. It turns out that the most efficient forward flying wings are wings with micromolded veins flapping at 10 beats per second. I say we just clone ginormous insects and ride them like horses. If only we could get around that gravity thing.

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One comment

  1. is it me, or is that thing not so much flying (ie keeping a constant, or increasing altitude) as gliding/floating gently towards the ground?

    or if we scale it up 20x back to normal speed, “dropping”?

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