A tailless aerial robotic flapper reveals that flies use torque coupling in rapid banked turns

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Science  14 Sep 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6407, pp. 1089-1094
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat0350

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Flying fast and free

Insect flight can be fast and agile, making it hard to study its detailed aerodynamics. Karásek et al. designed an untethered, flapping-wing robot with impressive agility that can mimic fruitfly maneuvers (see the Perspective by Ruffier). They studied the robot's motion during rapid banked turns, which revealed that passive motion through the turn generated yaw torque coupling. This correcting yaw rotation propelled the robot toward the escape heading needed for effective turning.

Science, this issue p. 1089; see also p. 1073