Raptor-Inspired Drone Morphing Wings Tail
Researchers at the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems of EPFL, led by Dario Floreano, have created a raptor-inspired drone with morphing wings and a tail, just like real birds. Its tail can morph in synergy with the wing, delivering unparalleled agility. This means that it changes the shape of the wings and tail to change direction faster, fly slower without falling, and reduce air resistance when flying fast. Read more for a video and additional information.

This innovative drone utilizes a propeller for forward thrust instead of flapping wings since it’s far more efficient as well as makes the new wing / tail system applicable to other winged drones. Drones with morphing wings and a tail enables them to have a longer flight time, while still remaining lighter than quadrotor designs.

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Flying this new type of drone isn’t easy, due to the large number of wing and tail configurations possible. To take full advantage of the drone’s flight capabilities, Floreano’s team plans to incorporate artificial intelligence into the drone’s flight system so that it can fly semi-automatically,” said the researchers.