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Robotic bat wing gives insight into the mechanics of bat flight

Other animals that can fly, like birds, have bodies that have been built around flight for a long, long time. Bats are the only truly flying mammals, and are basically rats with long skin-made wings. The mechanics of bat flight are very different that that of birds, so in order to truly understand how bats fly, researchers built a robotic bat wing, which should come in handy for robot vampires of the future.

As the robo-bat was being developed and refined, the researchers were able to learn how all of the muscles and ligaments in the wing work together to not only enable flight, but also keep the animal intact while it was vigorously flapping.

The practical benefits of this research include developing more energy-efficient light aircraft, and even general improvements for the aerodynamics of existing planes.

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