Page 16 - Australian Defence Magazine September 2018
P. 16

Aircraft with flapping wings that can navigate their way through any conditions, all by themselves? This might sound like science fiction, but for Professor Matt Garratt and his team at the UNSW Defence Research Institute, it’s very real.
Inspired by nature and how birds and insects fly and land, they’re building autonomous aircraft with four wings. The aircraft can take off, hover, manoeuvre, and adapt to environmental changes or changes to the machine itself, such as low voltage or damage. With so many different parameters to consider, like altitude and wing flapping frequency, it’s certainly not an easy task. And unlike robots that can only cope with pre-programmed conditions, they’re making these systems more adaptive and resilient to change so they can cope with all conditions.

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