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July 3, 2012 11:36 am

Israeli Researchers Team with U.S. Army to Produce Flying Insect Drone

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Daniel Weihs. Photo: Technion.

Israeli researchers at Technion University in Haifa are studying the movements of flying insects, with the ultimate goal of emulating those movements for “small flying vehicles”.

Daniel Weihs, the former chief scientist at Israel’s Ministry of Science & Technology and now a researcher at Technion is one of the leaders in a relatively new field of study, known as Biomimicry, according to the website No Camels.

“My interest in animal locomotion started very early on, when as an aerodynamicist I realized that birds, insects and even fish and other marine creatures are much more efficient than us in designing for transportation,” Wiehs told the site.

The project is being funded by the U.S. Army, and Wiehs says eventually their research could help in the development of military hardware.

“Our goal is to understand how insects fly, in order to be able to emulate them in small flying vehicles,” according to Wiehs. “These mechanisms are usually not scalable to airplane size.”

Wiehs and his team have attached sensors to the muscles of a locust in an attempt to understand the insect’s movements and produce similar ones in computerized flying vehicles.

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