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Bats Inspiring Future Micro Unmanned Aircraft

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the same-bat-station dept.

The Military 76

coondoggie writes "It's not the first time researchers have tried to emulate flapping as a way to fly aircraft, but US Air Force-funded researchers are now looking at how bats move to help them develop future micro-aircraft. According to these researchers, birds, bats, and insects have some highly varied mechanical properties that researchers have so far not utilized in engineering flight vehicles. The idea is to reproduce bat mechanics and develop technology could lead to small, remote controlled aircraft able to move in places where fixed-wing aircraft have a hard time — like the interiors of buildings, caves, or tunnels."

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Not a new model (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26425343)

Didn't the military look into cluster bombs using bats? Doesn't seem to be terribly new as far as inspiring flight sorts of ideas.

Re:Not a new model (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26425391)

Typical Slashbot response. "Bah, this is so easy. In fact, it's so easy that I could do it myself if I wanted to. I just don't want to."

You. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26425625)

Charges: You think it's your patriotic duty to spend money you don't have on crap you don't need. You think Hillary lost because of sexism, when it's actually because she's just a bad liar. You think Iraq is better off now than before we invaded, and don't understand why they're so ungrateful. You think Tim Russert was a great journalist. You're hopping mad about an auto industry bailout that cost a squirt of piss compared to a Wall Street heist of galactic dimensions, due to a housing crash you somehow have blamed on minorities. It took you six years to figure out what a tool Bush is, but you think Obama will make it all better. You deem it hunky dory that we conduct national policy debates via 8-second clips from "The View." You think God zapped humans into existence a few thousand years ago, although your appendix and wisdom teeth disagree. You like watching vicious assholes insult each other on TV. You support gun rights, because firing one gives you a chubby. You cuddle falsehoods and resent enlightenment. You think the fact that 43% of whites could stomach voting for an incredibly charismatic and eloquent light-skinned black guy who was raised by white people means racism is over. You think progressive taxation is socialism. 1 in 100 of you are in jail, and you think it should be more. You are shallow, inconsiderate, afraid, brand-conscious, sedentary, and totally self-obsessed. You are American.

Re:You. (1)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 5 years ago | (#26425659)

You forgot fat and ugly.

Re:Not a new model (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26425847)

Actually, no, had nothing to do with being easy or would have done it myself. Just pointing out that bats inspiring flying things is not very new.

Re:Not a new model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26425411)

Didn't the military look into cluster bombs using bats? Doesn't seem to be terribly new as far as inspiring flight sorts of ideas.

Yup. And I also recall some story about military wanting to make bat sized and looking flying robots for intel. It was craftily named COMBAT, I'm pretty sure. I tried to search for it but as /.' search isn't case sensitive, it comes up with every story which mentions that someone has done something to combat something...

Re:Not a new model (1)

nobodylocalhost (1343981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26425477)

Yes, in fact Batman did it ages ago with his cape!!!

Re:Not a new model (5, Interesting)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26426285)

Actually, the "Bat Bomb" was a striking success.

The "bomb" was essentially a large casing, filled with a stack of "honeycombs". Inside each cell of the honeycomb was a Mexican Freetailed Bat carrying an incendiary device.

The bats were chilled to induce torpor, then fitted with the device. While still chilled, they were loaded into the honeycombs and the devices were armed by pulling the string through the top of each cell. The combs were then strung together and loaded into a casing.

The casing would be dropped over a city, and once it reached 4000 feet, a chute would deploy and the case would fall off. The honeycombs would then fall like an accordion, stretching out. Each bat would then be shaken out of their cells and onto the top of the bottom cell. The device is now armed.

This was actually deliberate, as it gave the bats time to warm up, get their bearings and fly off for shelter.

The intent was that the bats would fly toward homes and buildings, seeking shelter from the daylight. After 20 minutes, the incendiary device would ignite. And since most Japanese homes of the time were made from washi paper, wood and bamboo, the resulting fires would be catastrophic.

The concept worked perfectly, as the Army found out quite by accident. Here's a video. Advance to 6:25 for the "successful test" [poetv.com]

Unfortunately for a few million Japanese, but fortunately for the bats, the program was canceled in lieu of the A-Bomb.

Re:Not a new model (2, Informative)

stockard (1431131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26426391)

Yeah, they looked at that in WWII [wikipedia.org] . Apparently it worked a little too well, burning down some buildings at the nearby Army base in addition to the test buildings they set up when some bats decided to roost there instead.

Re:Not a new model (5, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | more than 5 years ago | (#26426433)

Engineers have always looked to nature for design inspiration. It is an approach that has some famous failures, including a lot of early flight research that was erroneously based on bird's wings that pointed people in directions that were simply wrong for the technology of the day. It has also had some notable successes, most recently with those "sharkskin" swimsuits.

But the thing that is certain is that every time the routine use of natural inspiration is pointed out to anyone who is completely ignorant of all good engineering practise for the past few centuries, they will boldly announce that it is "new" and "surprising" that engineers would do any such a thing. Unfortunately this leads to journalism that misses everything interesting.

The research linked in the story may be interesting because of some of the details of the work, but the simple fact that they are using nature as an inspiration for engineering design, which is what the story focuses on, is neither new nor interesting.

Re:Not a new model (3, Interesting)

megaduck (250895) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428823)

I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree. I think that we don't do enough biomimetic design, especially for production systems. Look around you. What was built using biological principles? The answer's probably "not much".

The problem seems to be engineers' blindness to "solved problems". Once somebody comes up with a workable solution, everybody just iterates upon it rather than stopping and rethinking the problem entirely. Take the "bat-craft" example. UAV design has consistently been a process of taking classic aircraft design, and then shrinking it. The problems are well understood, but you're never going to get any revolutionary features.

A couple of years ago, I was part of a competition for AUV design (autonomous submarines). Every single entry, except for ours, used the same principles that we've been using on submarines for forever. Pressure hull, with tandem thrusters for turning and propulsion. We tried to go with a more "natural" design, copying fish (flooded hull, the whole body was a control surface).

Talking to the big defense contractors that build these things for the military, all of their designs lacked any biomimetic features. Current AUV design consists of taking classic submarine designs, making them smaller, and whacking out the crew compartment. A lot of them are pretty cool, but they're certainly not borrowing anything from nature.

The same situation exists with UAV design. Look at the designs for the Int'l Aerial Robotics Competition [angel-strike.com] . These are the engineering students that get recruited to design and build "the real thing" for Northrup Grumman and General Atomics. Smart guys, but they're (generally) not looking to nature.

Whoops! (1)

megaduck (250895) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428997)

Looks like the link I gave is bad. Try looking at the Wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org] , particularly the "Aerial Robots" section.

Re:Not a new model (1)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 5 years ago | (#26430607)

It's particularly stupid because anyone who has spent more than a moment observing birds knows that they spend about 80% of their active time foraging for food. We have no idea how to make power systems which even approach several orders of magnitude below the efficiency/weight/size of a bird's digestive system. So the idea that you can build a UAV the size of a sparrow (or, by the same argument, the size of a fly) is necessarily a non-starter unless you want one which will spend all its time looking for food.

Rich.

Re:Not a new model (1)

zobier (585066) | more than 5 years ago | (#26442671)

Solar.

thats cool and all... (1)

the1337g33k (1268908) | more than 5 years ago | (#26425373)

but doesn't the object need to be very very light in order for it to work? I mean birds have hollow bones and thats how they are very light, they would need a very small very light camera or whatever they plan on using on this "flapping object" or it wont fly. Or have they made things that im not aware of that are light like this?

Re:thats cool and all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26425647)

"they would need a very small very light camera or whatever they plan on using on this "flapping object" or it wont fly."

Such video cameras already exist. And there are already some very tricky UAVs around, such as this one :

http://www.defensereview.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=811

Re:thats cool and all... (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26425683)

we can currently build an RC helicopter than can fly lout of your hand fly around and land on your hand.(depending on the skill of the pilot)

The smallest object I have seen fly with propeller for forward speed and radio controls for direction came in at a whopping 10 sheets of paper in weight.

Thanks for the microlight poop! (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#26426379)

Anyone who's been in a cave where bats live won't go anywhere near the airport.

Re:thats cool and all... (1)

azenpunk (1080949) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428851)

styrofoam?

i've seen remote control airplanes smaller than 6 inches square made of styrofoam. that have cameras on them. the range sucks though. in fact the footage i've seen might have been the early stages of culminated in what this article is about. couldn't swear to it.

Not to knock bats... (2, Interesting)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 5 years ago | (#26425417)

But bats have always appeared to me to be very ungraceful in their flight.
Not that there's anything wrong with that, but their motion has always seem sort of chaotic.
I suppose that's also what makes them so nimble.

Re:Not to knock bats... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26425487)

But bats have always appeared to me to be very ungraceful in their flight.
Not that there's anything wrong with that, but their motion has always seem sort of chaotic.
I suppose that's also what makes them so nimble.

is that a quasi-haiku?

Re:Not to knock bats... (4, Insightful)

jrumney (197329) | more than 5 years ago | (#26425553)

I think the lack of grace comes from their body weight compared to birds, which perhaps makes them more appropriate for copying when you want to load a microcraft down with cameras and transmitters etc. They seem to use their wings downward flap to pull their body up, then immediately start falling, unlike birds which are able to glide for some distance without significant loss of altitude.

Re:Not to knock bats... (5, Insightful)

Cousin Scuzzy (754180) | more than 5 years ago | (#26426025)

They may appear less graceful, but bats have greater control over their flight then birds. From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :

Because their wings are much thinner than those of birds, bats can maneuver more quickly and more precisely than birds.

Gliding is certainly graceful and efficient, but it's somewhat at odds with being able to stop, hover, and change course quickly. For maneuvering indoors or in caves or tunnels, gliding would be a lower priority than not crashing into things.

Re:Not to knock bats... (1)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428299)

Evolution at work.

The bats who were better at gliding but not at making quick course changes bumped into things in the cave and wound up on the floor of the cave.

I saw a documentary about that once, the floor of a bat cave is covered with a multitude of incredible carnivorous(/omnivorous?) insects that would immediately swarm a bat and strip it to the bone and then to nothing in the space of a few minutes.

There's actually a war-zone on the wall where the insects climbing up the wall and the bats with the worst perches would meet and fight it out.

Re:Not to knock bats... (1)

thebheffect (1409105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26432701)

Its true, birds appear more graceful in flight. That is until they fly face-first into a glass window, something bats don't have a problem with.

anti-UAV tech (4, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26425445)

The next advancement in military tech will probably be anti-UAV technology. Since they're so lightweight and small, there's no real chance for them to survive electromagnetic weapons (hardening costs weight). I suspect miniturization and economizing of EMP delivery systems will become a priority for many militaries in the next decade. Counter-surveillance will also become a priority for many groups, both domestically and abroad.

The technology is already being abused to spy on large public gatherings where there is no evidence of illegal activity. Eventually, people are going to start fighting back, and the government can piss off on that because one shotgun blast (cost: $1) will blow a several thousand dollar UAV out of the sky without too much trouble. A baseball bat and a can of gasoline later, and it's a total loss. Unlike most counter-technology, I'm betting anti-UAV tech will spring from civilian interests.

It'll be like those HARM systems... That got defeated by people who'd stick a fork into a microwave's door interlock and then turn it on and point it up. $280,000 missile blows up $15 microwave. Very economical!

Re:anti-UAV tech (3, Interesting)

Fanro (130986) | more than 5 years ago | (#26425677)

The technology is already being abused to spy on large public gatherings where there is no evidence of illegal activity.

so you propose the government is risking its newest, most expensive and top secret spy technology to spy on public gatherings?

Of course they could just send some guys with a camcorder without raising any suspicion whatsoever, since every other attender at any gathering will be taking photos anyway. or they could simply get the photos from flicker later.

Any evidence for this claim?

Re:anti-UAV tech (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26425941)

> Any evidence for this claim?

Of course not. It's all been suppressed by THEM.

Well, the LA sheriff's department is trying... (1)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26426153)

http://lemonodor.com/archives/001405.html [lemonodor.com] It does say that the FAA does not approve. The autonomous nature of the aircraft is the big sticking point it seems. As for actual use of UAVs in domestic operations, I don't know of any, but law enforcement seems very interested.

Re:Well, the LA sheriff's department is trying... (2, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 5 years ago | (#26434363)

http://lemonodor.com/archives/001405.html It does say that the FAA does not approve. The autonomous nature of the aircraft is the big sticking point it seems. As for actual use of UAVs in domestic operations, I don't know of any, but law enforcement seems very interested.

It's a good thing the FAA doesn't approve - certain areas of airspace are controlled (airport tower or otherwise), with good reason - aircraft. UAVs have to be designed to be controlled - so they'll need avionics to pick up the local tower, transponders for secondary radar, cameras pointed around to see traffic around them. And those are UAVs controlled by a ground station (who at least have a chance to talk with controllers). Make them autonomous and the fun really starts (what happens whey they accidentally get into wake turbulence from a nearby jet?).

Tiny UAVs are even more of a hazard - think bird strikes, except instead of a somewhat feathery lump of meat, you have metal, composites, electronics and fuel. I'm sure the folks at LAX would just love to have a jet suck one of those into their engines on takeoff or landing. Something the size of a Predator would at least have a chance of being seen by the pilot and hopefully avoided, but those tiny ones...

Re:anti-UAV tech (3, Interesting)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26426677)

so you propose the government is risking its newest, most expensive and top secret spy technology to spy on public gatherings?

No, just the last-gen stuff that's mass produced and ready to go into the field. The newest, cutting-edge stuff is 10 to 20 years from the light of day.

Of course they could just send some guys with a camcorder without raising any suspicion whatsoever, since every other attender at any gathering will be taking photos anyway. or they could simply get the photos from flicker later.

Or they may want to see how their new high-tech works in a real-life, low-stakes situation.

Any evidence for this claim?

Washington Post: Robotic Insects Spy on Protestors? [dailykos.com]

Re:anti-UAV tech (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26425729)

portable EMP systems are a ways off. while with luck portable power cells(ultra capacitors, and large portable generators) are almost here, there is yet to be a way to actually generate an EMP effectively over more than a few feet without a nuke.

Re:anti-UAV tech (1)

azenpunk (1080949) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428873)

dude, what are you talking about? they had one in oceans 11!

Re:anti-UAV tech (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26441051)

um it doesn't exist. just because it is on TV doesn't make it real. try coming out of your parents basement every once in a while.

Re:anti-UAV tech (2, Funny)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26425791)

I couldn't but think of the scene in the 5Th Element [wikipedia.org] were the bugged cock roach craws onto the table.

Re:anti-UAV tech (2, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26426071)

> It'll be like those HARM systems... That got defeated by people who'd stick a fork into
> a microwave's door interlock and then turn it on and point it up. $280,000 missile blows
> up $15 microwave. Very economical!

You go right ahead and rely on that to work. After all, people capable of designing effective anti-radiation missiles are obviously not capable of designing receivers that can classify different radiation sources.

Re:anti-UAV tech (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#26426941)

[quote]The technology is already being abused to spy on large public gatherings where there is no evidence of illegal activity. Eventually, people are going to start fighting back, and the government can piss off on that because one shotgun blast (cost: $1) will blow a several thousand dollar UAV out of the sky without too much trouble.[/quote]

The little, low-level UAVs that is. Larger UAVs can loiter out of range of small arms.The obvious countermeasure would be to watch expendable UAV with expensive UAV, then bag the shotgunner. Larger UAV can carry EMP-hardened electronic systems.

As for HARMs, they can sometimes be spoofed, but its always been a race between decoy and missileer. UAVs with an aircraft radar signature can lure a SAM crew to launch, after which the site can be disposed of with cluster bombs. It's a lot easier than flying live Wild Weasel decoy missions in Southeast Asia.

Re:anti-UAV tech (1)

j. andrew rogers (774820) | more than 5 years ago | (#26427969)

It'll be like those HARM systems... That got defeated by people who'd stick a fork into a microwave's door interlock and then turn it on and point it up. $280,000 missile blows up $15 microwave. Very economical!

HARM systems do not work that way. You are making assumptions about the design of those weapons that betrays a gross ignorance of the capabilities of the technology.

As a rule of thumb, it should seem reasonable that state-of-the-art classified weapon systems work neither according to how Hollywood depicts them nor by the mechanisms assumed by a poorly informed lay-person such as yourself. It is akin to an accountant with a crackpot theory wagging their finger at a PhD physicist on the topic of quantum mechanics. Accept that many very bright people with extreme expertise designed these weapons with an understanding you will never gain by reading your local news rag.

This is as bad as the idiots in the media and elsewhere who (still) think the US has GPS guided weaponry, completely misunderstanding the technology they are looking at (so-called "GPS-guided" weapons are actually guided by ultra-precise optical interferometers -- the GPS units are used to cheaply tighten the error bars on the interferometers, not guide them).

Re:anti-UAV tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26429145)

What do you mean "do not work that way"?

Anti-radiation home in on a radio source. That's the whole point. Of course detecting the radio source and homing in on the right one can be difficult, and of course you may want the missile to remember where it was in case the enemy does something cunning such as turning if off or starts powering up decoys, but it does "work that way". For what matters, while I never heard this microwave oven decoy story, I certainly wouldn't discount it right off the bat as far as a Shrike is concerned, considering the state of electronic technology of the 60s and that a quick wikipedia lookup reveals that it aimed at bands E (2 to 3 GHz) and F, and that a microwave emits at 2.45 (as in, right in the middle).

As for GPS guided ammunitions, well, you should believe the idiots in the media. That's why they're good: it's precise, fire and forget, and oblivious to clouds. There *is* a backup inertial guidance system (in case the GPS fails, or is jammed), which can (and nowadays usually is) done with a cheap and efficient laser gyro (which includes an interferometer), but that's a backup and is less precise.

Re:anti-UAV tech (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 5 years ago | (#26433719)

I feel that the gyro vs. GPS comparison is like apples and oranges. A gyro is far more precise than GPS in maintaining orientation, while GPS is better at sensing a location in some external coordinate system. Thus, they complement each other. If a vehicle can take many GPS samples during its movement and combine them with gyro samples it will be able to filter out GPS error (GPS can have 10s of meters of error).

Re:anti-UAV tech (1)

CompMD (522020) | more than 5 years ago | (#26434953)

"Since they're so lightweight and small, there's no real chance for them to survive electromagnetic weapons (hardening costs weight)."

Since they're so lightweight and small, *you never see them coming.* Most are made from composite materials, powered by electric motors. Even at a few hundred feet away, you'd never see or hear most small recon UAVs. If you don't know its there, your countermeasure weapons are irrelevant. My personal favorites are the AV Raven (fits in a backpack, simple assembly, then throw it to launch it) and the AAI Shadow. The Raven is electric and almost completely silent. Once its just a few hundred feet away, you can't tell its there. The Shadow is bigger and gas powered, but from a mile away you won't see it, but its operator will have a clear view of your face. These aircraft cruise at 4,000 feet or higher, even if you can see it, good luck taking it down with any gun.

For the record, I've done a lot of aerospace work, including UAV design and UAV flight testing with the Air Force and Army as a technical consultant with a major UAV consortium. Until you've seen these aircraft in action, don't claim its so easy to take them out of the sky. It won't be civilians taking them down.

One Toke Over The Line (1)

Corpuscavernosa (996139) | more than 5 years ago | (#26425509)

"One toke? You poor fool! Wait till you see those goddamn bats."

Lots of applications ... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26425549)

lead to small, remote controlled aircraft able to move in places where fixed-wing aircraft have a hard time â" like the interiors of buildings, caves, or tunnels.

... and HVAC ductwork, ceiling lamps, cabinet tops, any place people don't regularly look.

Yawn (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26425583)

Wake me when you've got a robot that can walk decently, let alone fly like a bat.

Re:Yawn (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26425687)

You don't think Big Dog [wikipedia.org] walks decently?

Re:Yawn (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26425867)

That is really quite impressive. But I have a real dog, and you should see it bound over rubble ;)

Re:Yawn (1)

Zeussy (868062) | more than 5 years ago | (#26427137)

The lastest Asimo walks pretty decently, in the words of James May "a bit like a guy who has had a accident in his pants, but at least he walks like somebody".

Re:Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26428039)

My 2 years old child can jump and run better than ASIMO,
robots barely walk better than a 12 months baby.

Why Bats? (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 5 years ago | (#26425629)

I would think that if they are trying to make something that's supposed to fly around through rooms, they would look at the hummingbird. I've never seen a bat hover, and I don't think I've ever seen a bat fly in a straight line. I have however seen hummingbirds hover, fly in straight lines, and move pretty fast.

I'm already on the phone with my lawyer to start the patent process.

Re:Why Bats? (1)

dwye (1127395) | more than 5 years ago | (#26437929)

> I've never seen a bat hover, and I don't think I've ever seen a bat fly in a straight line.

Because moths do not fly in a straight line, especially when chased by hungry bats. OTOH, how much deftness does it take to sneak up on a flower, especially given that it NEEDS the hummingbird to fertilize the flowers?

Take a look at bat wing design. Pterosaurs and birds each use(d) just one finger for the wing, and let the others atrophy, while bats seem to use several of theirs in the wing, making it much more complex, therefore nimble.

Yes! (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26425755)

My lifelong-quest to become Batman is one step closer! :)

Frank Herbert Missed It (2, Funny)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26425877)

Rodenthopter.

-Peter

Re:Frank Herbert Missed It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26427539)

BZZT

Sorry, thank you for playing.

Ornithopters do specifically include BATS as one of their sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ornithopter

W00T for the 'Thopters... And hook me up with some spice while we're at it. I think I might fold myself over to a tropical beach about now.

Re:Frank Herbert Missed It (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26440071)

Settle down, AC. Ornis means bird. Bats are rodentia.

-Peter

Sounds like a trip to the toy store (1)

bmc_az (1319161) | more than 5 years ago | (#26425885)

Didnt WowWee already "solve" this with the FlyTech line they already have a bat that files!

And Soundwave says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26425993)

Ratbat: Eject
Operation: Reconnaissance

We should help the, if we're copying them (1)

dancingmad (128588) | more than 5 years ago | (#26426059)

I guess it's great we're copying them but perhaps we should be doing something to also keep them from dying off from fungal/bacterial infections?

Re:We should help the, if we're copying them (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26426115)

I expect that the researchers provide adequate veterinary care for their subjects.

bit3h (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26426451)

cycle; take a future. The hand charn3l house. To plTace a paper Users With Large

Has anyone else read that as... (2, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26426479)

It's not the first time researchers have tried to emulate fapping as a way to fly aircraft,

Or is it just... Oh... it is just me...?

Damn. I need a girlfriend!

As an aftertought... (3, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26426485)

Slashdot is the worst self-help group I've ever been in! ;)

Re:Has anyone else read that as... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26431385)

It's not the first time researchers have tried to emulate fapping as a way to fly aircraft,

Or is it just... Oh... it is just me...?

No, it's not just you. Why do you think a joystick is the preferred controller for flight sims?

Re:Has anyone else read that as... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26436217)

I always wondered, if a force-feedback "joy-stick" with the right software, would make a good dildo. Unfortunately the one I own is not shaped in a way that makes it possible to test this, if you're not a huge pain-lover.

Hey, connect it to the network, and get "teledildonics" :P
Now all we need is a "joyhole" for the opposite sex. (mine)

I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26426499)

The idea is to reproduce bat mechanics and develop technology could lead to small, remote controlled aircraft able to move in places where fixed-wing aircraft have a hard time â" like the interiors of buildings, caves, or tunnels.


Why would you want to take the time and effort to research a bat based ornithopter RPV just to move around in buildings? just use a rotary wing aircraft instead. I have a $20 helo that works just find in my living room. I could easily get a larger one for $50 that could carry the extra weight of a wireless 2.4GHz mini-pinhole camera.

Dumb idea (2, Interesting)

criminy (62218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26426501)

It's been shown on a number of occasions that creating airborne surveillance devices which look like animals simply invites predators to catch and destroy them.

http://gizmodo.com/359417/hawks-agree-wowwees-dragonfly-tastes-delicious [gizmodo.com]

Maybe not so dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26427661)

They should be able to avoid owls on very dark nights or where owls are scarce. The part I like is now Al Quaeda is sitting in their caves in Afghanistan/Pakistan wondering if those bats are spying on them.

Hmmmmm..... (3, Funny)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 5 years ago | (#26427039)

The robotic bat-based UAV sounds like a load of eGuano to me.....

Multi-million dollar project that can be defeated by a $100 shotgun and a $.50 shell. Real clever.....

Re:Hmmmmm..... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26427985)

The robotic bat-based UAV sounds like a load of eGuano to me.....

Multi-million dollar project that can be defeated by a $100 shotgun and a $.50 shell. Real clever.....

You're assuming that it would be used as a weapon (delivering explosives or some other payload.) As a surveillance/spy device it would be very useful indeed.

Re:Hmmmmm..... (1)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 5 years ago | (#26428287)

"You're assuming that it would be used as a weapon (delivering explosives or some other payload.) As a surveillance/spy device it would be very useful indeed."

-----No, I'm assuming that it would be used at all. Whether or not it is being used as a weapons system or surveillance/recon system, it can *still* be brought down by wayyy cheaper methods, from a shotgun to an electromagnetic pulse, that can easily be either requisitioned or built.

Its usefulness is heavily negated by its monumental vulnerabilities.

mod d0wn (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26427831)

Not really an ornithopter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26431239)

More of a chiropter [wikipedia.org] .

BATS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26432475)

Is UAV dangerous?

Is bats?

Stephen J Gould on bats (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 5 years ago | (#26434185)

Gould pointed out in one of his essays that whereas horses are a very unsuccessful line of animals (compared to what most people think) because they have few habitats and only really one small genus, bats (which most people are not very aware of) are very diverse and successful. They're doing something right.

Referencing the post above who suggested that artificial bats could easily be disposed of by a shotgun, have you ever tried to aim at a bat? They are difficult enough to follow with low power binoculars. They also obviously have a fair bit of computing power in rather small brains.

Batmobile (1)

msoori (614781) | more than 5 years ago | (#26438875)

So the BatMobile is finally becoming reality!

What definition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26442445)

Micro as in microscopic, or micro as in retarded ads?

So they are looking at the data... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446459)

I remember a few years ago, engineers were studying the flight of birds to better design aircraft. One tidbit I remember was the comparison: a multi-million dollar FA-18 aircraft had a roll speed of 38 degrees per second, and the lowly barn swallow could do over 1400 degrees per second.

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