Researchers at the University of Maryland A. James Clark School of Engineering have been working on the so-called Robo Raven for years. The ongoing project resulted in the first flying drone with independent wing movement, a feature that made these U of M UAV’s closer to birds than ever before.
Now Lena Johnson, a Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering, has created the Robo Raven V, an advanced version of the flying drone.
“Robo Raven has given me an entire platform to explore how engineers can take advantage of avian flight to improve drone capabilities,” she told IEEE< ?A>. “As a Ph.D. student, my research is focused on achieving something new with this UAV platform that has already made aviation history by flying on wings that can move independently of each other.”
The new raven has two propellers for faster takeoff and has improved maneuverability thanks to better wing design. As you can see above, it flies like a big butterfly, lightly taking to the breeze with massive mylar wings. It’s a pretty – and clever – version of the typical flying drone and it will be interesting to see how far Johnson can take the technology.