Flying Jellyfish

It seems that a day doesn't go by without the announcement of a new and innovative flying drone. Joining the throng we have researchers from New York University (NYU) who have developed a drone that flies like a jellyfish, but without the sting! Their work was showcased at the 2013 APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting.

Flying Jellyfish-Like Drone

Using the fertile field of biomimicry the NYU researchers have designed a drone concept with 4 wings synchronized to move like a jellyfish.

At low speeds air and water share similar incompressible flow characteristics. Allowing for the density and viscosity differences between air and water means the wings on the drone have to pulsate much faster in air than the jellyfish's graceful, slow pulse motion in water.

Jellyfish Swimming

Still at the concept phase, the drone flies much like a helicopter, but relies on a tether for control and power. Development continues to package the flight controls and power source within the drone to make it more autonomous.

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