GRADE LEVEL: Middle School - Grades 7-9
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Based on the dynamic, unstructured, and unknown nature of the environments in which both flying robots and flying organisms must operate, a novel biologically-inspired approach was used to create a simpler, faster, and more practical method of onboard threat evasion in a flying robot. Thus, a computationally and physically lightweight sensor module inspired by the fruit fly's rudimentary visual system, combined with algorithms to escape from approaching threats by mimicking fruit fly escape behaviors, was used to demonstrate a simpler, faster, and more practical method of onboard threat evasion in a quadrotor (a quadcopter - a multirotor helicopter that is lifted and propelled by four rotors).
IN THE IMAGE BELOW:
Leonardo da Vinci's design for a flying machine with wings based closely upon the structure of bat wings