Ornithopter – The New Generation Bird-Like Drone

The Flapping Wing Drone Weighs Only 26grams
Image Credit: National Chiao Tung University

Our skies are dominated by quadcopter drones, surveilling, recording, delivering, communicating and maybe spying. But is this the only way forward for a drone in appearance and function? Well, there is a new guy in town now, the ‘Ornithopter’! Designed by the research scientists at the National University of Singapore, this novel drone gets its name from the Greek ornitho, meaning ‘the birds’. The team believes the Ornithopter’s biological accuracy makes it greater than a ‘traditional quadcopter drone’.

Weighing just 26grams, this brave new design flaps its wings like a bird, and is quieter, three things that make it different from the mundane and noisy Quadcopter. These features have given the Ornithopter the agility it needs to flourish in a range of environments. This has been called ‘an aerialist’ for its swift transition from flying fast forward and stay stationary in the air.

Talking about its special characteristics, the study which is published in the journal ScienceRobotics explains, this Ornithopter wings have a slower speed making them safer with less disruption than their counterparts. Apart from surveilling, these delicate units are also designed to use for pollinating plants in a time where Bees are vanishing fast. This design is deemed to be quieter, safer and needs charging less often!

The researchers are ambitious that they could hone this design furthermore to be used as a toy like the Quadcopter but would be much safer. With both characteristics as a helicopter and an aeroplane, this would be an interesting toy!