Robotic dragonfly takes to the air

The latest flapping wing Delfly Micro air vehicle to be developed by TU Delft only weighs 3g and measures 10 cm from wingtip to wingtip but this is to be followed by another even smaller machine, the Delfly Nano, which is to measure 5cm and weigh 1g

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The project started as a student project in 2005 to develop flapping wing air vehicles (ornithopters) inspired by dragonflies.

The Delfly 1 weighed 23g and was 50 cm across. This was followed by the Delfly II, which weighed 16g and measured 30cm, and could fly at 21km/hr as well as hover, and also fly backwards. The Delfly Micro cannot do this “Just yet”. All of them carry micro TV cameras, and are flown remotely by joysticks. One of the goals for the future is to enable these tiny machines to fly entirely independently, navigating on the basis of the images captured by the cameras.

For more information: www.delfly.nl

Author
Tom Shelley

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