Bat Inspired Design Could Revolutionise Drones


Batman fans, you must remember the bit in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight were Bruce Wayne has crafted a cape which can instantly become rigid when an electric current is run through it? The stuff was called ‘memory cloth’ and this very cool concept now has a real world application.

A team of engineers at the University of Southampton have developed a drone model with wings that can change their shape in mid flight. The material acts like a muscle, flexing and moving in response to air currents and helping to keep the vehicle stable.

It’s made of a special substance which is designed to change shape when an electric current flows through it, just like Batman’s amazing cape! Except in this case it actually helps the done to fly by pushing air across and down.

The use of this technology means the drone has less moving parts, which makes it easier to manufacture and maintain. Quite naturally, they’ve built a working model and put it to the test over water on a fairly dreary day. Check out the video below.

The membrane wings look very solid and the developers of this tech point out that it’s intended to fly at very low altitudes, responding quickly to changes at ground level and making it easier to control.

One day you too could own a bat drone but for the moment check out the full range of drones at Harvey Norman.

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