Scientists study ‘magic of bird flight’ for future windproof drones

A black-throated mango hummingbird, Anthracothorax nigricollis, flies in a garden in San Francisco, near Bogota. © Jose Miguel Gomez A black-throated mango hummingbird, Anthracothorax nigricollis, flies in a garden in San Francisco, near Bogota. © Jose Miguel Gomez / Reuters Drone technology never stays still for long, and scientists at Stanford University are taking tips from the avian world to create hardy flying robots able to withstand powerful gusts of wind. TrendsViral

Stanford engineering professor David Lentink has already begun using a new state of the art wind tunnel to devise “better” drones that can power through more than a slight breeze.

By gaining insight into how birds respond to unpredictable weather, it is hoped that their natural instincts can be embedded in future delivery drones or rescue copters.

According to the university website, the study could even yield a future avian robot capable of extending and contracting its wings depending on which way the wind is blowing.

Researchers are using a small scale tunnel designed with the help of the US Air Force to study the maneuverability of birds in wind turbulence.

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