Tag Archive | "Birds"

Man Successfully Flies With Custom-Built Bird Wings

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Man Successfully Flies With Custom-Built Bird Wings

Posted on 21 March 2012 by admin

 

From Wired.com

Using videogame controllers, prostate an Android phone and custom-built wings, a Dutch engineer named Jarno Smeets has achieved birdlike flight.

Smeets flew like an albatross, the bird that inspired his winged-man invention, on March 18 at a park in The Hague.

“I have always dreamed about this. But after 8 months of hard work, research and testing it all payed off,” Smeets said on his YouTube page.

Smeets got the idea from sketches of a futuristic flying bicycle drawn by his grandfather, who spent much of his life designing the contraption but never actually built it.

When Smeets began studying engineering at Coventry University in England, he realized the physics of a flying bicycle just didn’t pan out. Instead, he drew inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci’s wing drawings to build his flying machine. Along with neuromechanics expert Bert Otten, Smeets brought his design into reality

The design is based on mechanics used in robotic prosthetics. The idea is to give his muscles extra strength so they can carry his body weight during the flight.

Smeets (and his arms) did just that today with the help of a pair of 37-ounce wings made out of fabric, according to a press release.

Working with the fabric was difficult because it was very fragile, Smeets wrote on his blog. “It’s important to sew the seams carefully, and give the wing shape extra strength without making it too heavy. The top part of the kite will be folded around the ribs to create an aerodynamic shape. For extra lift and control I’ll stretch a piece of kite fabric between the legs, as some sort of tail wing.”

According to Smeets’ calculations, he needed approximately 2,000 Watts of continuous power to support his roughly 180-pound frame and 40-pound wing pack. His arms could only really provide 5 percent of that, so the rest would have to come from motors. His arms and pecs would basically serve to guide the device and to flap the wings.

He built his electronic, wireless wing set out of Wii controllers, accelerometers harvested from an HTC Wildfire Android phone and Turnigy motors.

When he landed after the 60-second flight, he said, “At one moment you see the ground moving away, and then suddenly you’re free, a really intense feeling of freedom. The true feeling of flying. A [bleep] magical moment. The best feeling I have felt in my life.”

 

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starlings

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Researchers Discover That European Starlings Flocking Patterns Behave Like Metals Being Magnetized

Posted on 15 March 2012 by admin

 

From FeelGuide.com

Scientists have long been captivated by the ability of large groups of animals to move in swift unison with one another — large schools of fish and flocks of birds to be most specific.  Now, sildenafil new research set to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals a mindblowing discovery made by a European research team which studied the spectacular flocking abilities of European starlings.  As reported by Physorg, “The team noticed that some of the starlings’ abilities might be mathematically defined, and that the ability of the birds to change directions almost simultaneously follows the same model as metal when it becomes magnetized.”  The same research team had previously discovered that if just one single bird changed its speed, the change would propagate out to every other bird.  In their latest research they focused on orientation (i.e. how individual movements of birds in the flock caused changes in the direction of the flock as a whole.  Multiple cameras were set up around Rome, where starling flocks are legendary.  Both video and stereometric stills were taken in order to produce 3D imagery of the flock.  Two subsequent discoveries were made: 1) a change in path by one bird impacts precisely 7 birds surrounding it (regardless of the flock’s size), and 2) “changes in  for the flock as a whole happens very similarly to the way single electron spins within a metal line up when a  is created.”  To find out the fascinating implications of these discoveries be sure to visit Physorg.com

 

 

From PhysOrg.com

(PhysOrg.com) — Scientists and amateur enthusiasts alike have long been fascinated by the abilities of some groups of animals to move in lockstep with one another, most specifically with schools of fish and flocks of birds. Now, new research by a team of researchers studying the flocking abilities of European starlings has shown that some of their abilities might be mathematically defined, and that the ability of the birds to change directions almost simultaneously follows the same model as metal when it becomes magnetized. The team is set to publish the results of their study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Prior research by the same team regarding the of the birds in a showed that if just a single bird changed its speed, that change would propagate out to all the other birds in the flock. In this new research, the team focused on orientation. They wanted to know how individual movements of birds in the flock caused changes in the direction of the flock as a whole.

To find out, they set up multiple cameras around Rome, where the huge size of starling flocks is legendary. They took both video and stereometric stills which produce 3D imagery to allow them to capture the positions of birds in a flock as well as to project where they were going and how fast.

In so doing, they discovered two things. The first is that a change in path by one bird impacts exactly seven birds surrounding it, regardless of the size of the flock. The second is that changes in for the flock as a whole happens very similarly to the way single electron spins within a metal line up when a is created.

The first finding demonstrates that birds having neighbors is what is important to the flock, not how close they are. The seven birds that are impacted by the movement of one bird, then cause a change in the seven birds around each of them and so on until the entire flock has changed its alignment.

The second finding demonstrates that at least some of the ways birds move in a flock can be defined mathematically, which means other models may be found as well. If so, they may lead to predicting how a flock will respond in various scenarios, which when combined with the way the birds impact their neighbors, may finally solve the age old mystery of how they fly in flocks the way they do.

More information: The study will be published in PNAS at DOI:10.1073/pnas.1118633109 (not available at this moment yet).

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