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Scientists: Future Drones Could Mimic Birds, Bats

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File photo of an unmanned drone. (credit: JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of an unmanned drone. (credit: JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – New drones can mimic birds, bats, and insects, according to scientists.

As part of an investigation, 14 different teams of researchers were getting their ideas from nature as a way to improve on drones, LiveScience reports.

“Whether this is avoiding obstacles, picking up and delivering items, or improving the takeoff and landing on tricky surfaces, it is hoped the solutions can lead to the deployment of drones in complex urban environments in a number of different ways,” officials from the Institute of Physics in the United Kingdom said in a statement obtained by LiveScience.

The IOP said these drones can be used for a number of reasons, which include, “military surveillance and search-and-rescue efforts to flying camera phones and reliable courier services. For this, drones need exquisite flight control.”

A tiny gust of wind would blow these drones off course, so researchers needed to look at the Sphingidae to see how they flew in wind. Sphingidae are a family of moths, commonly known as hawk moths, sphinx moths, and hornworms. They include about 1,450 species.

Other animals that researchers drew inspiration from were flying squirrels, flying snakes, and flying fish, according to LiveScience. The researchers wanted the drone to mimic how these animals avoid predators. They could be used in search and rescue missions with their ability to navigate around rough terrain and obstacles.

The research was published in a special issue of the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics.

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