Feather-Equipped Drone Can Maneuver in High Winds like a Bird
After observing birds in flight, EPFL researchers had the idea of building an energy-efficient winged drone capable of changing its wingspan, flying at high speed, making sharp turns, and moving through tight spaces. By changing its geometry mid-flight, the research team's new drone meets all these criteria. The moving part is located on the outer wings and it works like a bird's quill feathers, which are the large feathers at the edge of the wing. The wing is composed mainly of composite materials in order to maximize strength while reducing overall weight.