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Living machinesA handbook of research in biomimetics and biohybrid systems$
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Tony J. Prescott, Nathan Lepora, and Paul F.M.J Verschure

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199674923

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199674923.001.0001

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Winged artifacts

Winged artifacts

(p.439) Chapter 46 Winged artifacts
Living machines

Wolfgang Send

Oxford University Press

Winged artifacts aim at the imitation of nature’s ingenious method to produce thrust with slim and smart-shaped flapping surfaces—the bending-torsional drive. The kinematics of these surfaces shows, in three dimensions, a bending motion coupled with a simultaneous torsion. This chapter describes the design and development of the artificial bird SmartBird, which was introduced in 2011 on the occasion of the annual international industry fair Hannovermesse. This artwork with articulated wings received worldwide attention through its unprecedented agility. The efficient motion of bodies heavier than air rests on the optimization of target functions like total weight to be balanced by lift, flow resistance to be balanced by thrust, structural layout and reliability, energy storage and, last but not least, smart flight control. From the author’s point of view, the bending-torsional drive just has started its career as a new player in this optimization game.

Keywords:   artificial bird, articulated wing, active torsion, unsteady aerodynamics, flapping flight, partially linear kinematics, bending-torsional drive, normal flyer diagram, degree of evolution

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