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Drones become even more insect-like

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Science  08 May 2020:
Vol. 368, Issue 6491, pp. 586-587
DOI: 10.1126/science.abb0064

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Summary

Evolutionary pressures in the animal kingdom have, over the course of several hundred million years, produced a diverse array of creatures highly adapted to survival within their own niche environments. Such adaptations coincide with optimized and efficient materials, body structure, and behavior. Humans have long drawn inspiration from nature in the creation of new technologies—for example, the earliest attempts at flight based on emulation of birds—and many benefits stem from the study of processes, materials, methods, and organizational structures of living organisms. On page 634 of this issue, Nakata et al. (1) exemplify the bioinspired design methodology through their investigation of the sound- and airflow-sensing capabilities of the southern house mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus and subsequent creation of a small quad-copter drone with an autonomous collision avoidance system based on the same sensing principles. The sensor displays compelling advantages in weight, power, and deployability over existing technology.

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