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Tiny muscles help bats fine-tune flight, stiffen wing skin
Date:5/23/2014

ic forces changed as they varied several kinematic parameters in the robotic bat wing. They found that to generate a given force, such as lift, each of several parameters requires about the same amount of energy, but that the timing and extent of wing folding varies the ratio between lift and power significantly.

The group is now improving the robotic wing by integrating the new findings about how plagiopatagiales impact wing stiffness and shape.

"When one tries to build an engineered flying vehicle, you want to have control over its aerodynamic properties," Breuer said. "This is one more knob that we have to turn now. To be able to use these membrane wings and be able to control the properties in the way that we suspect bats do, using these muscles, is a great opportunity for biomimetic systems."

The group has a paper in press showing that controlling membrane tension in this way controls aerodynamic properties.


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Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

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