RoboSwift Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Flies
The first flight of RoboSwift -- a 3-ounce, 8-"feathered" propeller-driven micro-aircraft with morphing wings spanning (at their widest geometry) 20 inches and a standard tail -- ended in a tree, according to ChinaView.cn. That might be fitting, but the YouTube video of another flight tells a different story. (Beware of the graphic language spoken in another language and look closely for wing geometry changes.) The first flight took place under windy conditions and lasted about five minutes at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. RoboSwift sports four "feathers" per wing and its wings can be adjusted by folding those feathers over one another and by sweeping the feathers forward or backward. It is being developed by a student team that aims to participate in MAV08, a competition of unmanned Micro Aerial Vehicles to be held in India.
RoboSwift's intended purpose is to carry forward-facing onboard cameras to more naturally observe wild birds ... or, as the Dutch National Police Services Agency has announced it will fund the program, perhaps be used by government and law-enforcement agencies for surveillance (assuming the funding isn't charitable) by incorporating ground-looking cameras.