Researchers working on moth-sized drone with flapping wings

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A research team from Singapore, Australia, China and Taiwan has designed a 26 gram (roughly, one ounce) ornithopter (flapping wing aircraft).

Weighing the equivalent of two tablespoons of flour, the flapping wing drone has been optimized to fly in cluttered environments near humans; with the ability to glide, hover at low power, and stop quickly from fast speeds avoiding collisions, according to the researchers.

National University of Singapore research scientist Dr Yao-Wei Chin, who has led the project, says the flapping wing drone is similar in size to a swift bird or a large moth, and can perform bird flight maneuvers.

The project was a culmination of  PhD work done by Dr Yao-Wei Chin under the guidance of Associate Professor Gih-Keong Lau (National Chiao Tung University), and an international collaboration comprising Professor Boo Cheong Khoo (National University of Singapore), Professor Javaan Chahl and Dr Jia Ming Kok (University of South Australia and Defence Science and Technology Group ), Dr Yong-Qiang Zhu (Qingdao University of Technology) and Dr Woei Leong Chan (National University of Singapore).