By Vepa R.
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Extra resources for Biomimetic robotics
Although researchers were able to integrate optic-flow-based artificially simulated vision into robotic platforms and to use them to perform simple navigation tasks in real time more than a decade ago, it was only recently that optic-flow sensing was successfully integrated into small autonomously flying aircraft and used to provide it with a basic degree of autonomous flight control. The methodology, which is based on a synergy of techniques that have evolved in computational vision processing and in biologically inspired research into human vision, has led to a better understanding of computer vision that may be implemented.
Thus biomimetic robots are being designed to be substantially more compliant and stable than conventionally controlled robots and will take advantage of new developments in materials, microsystems technology, as well as developments that have led to a deeper understanding of biological behavior. Roboticists have a lot to learn from animals. Birds have a superior flying machine with multielement “aerofoils” capable of controlling the flow around them quite effortlessly. 1 The Wagner effect manifests itself as a time delay or transport lag in the growth of lift over an impulsively or suddenly started and accelerated aerofoil.
The gaps are also controlled in real time to act as “slats,” and most birds are able swing a “canard”-like surface relative to the main wing. These features significantly influence the controllability of the associated vortex flows. Compensating for the Wagner-like effect eliminates the transport lags without altering the circulatory forces acting on the aerofoil. Compensation for this effect involves using a higher initial value at the start of an impulsive change in the angle of attack to generate a steady lift force.