A shape-shifting, robotic bird that can sweep through the skies without a peep has all the right stuff for ground surveillance and even spying on its real-life inspiration — the common swift.
Engineering students presented their design of the so-called RoboSwift at an annual Design Synthesis symposium at the Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands. The robotic bird measures 20 inches (51 centimeters) from wingtip to wingtip and weighs less than three ounces (80 grams).
The team expects to build the micro airplane in the coming months and fly it in January 2008. They hope to enter three RoboSwifts in the First American-Asian Micro Air Vehicle competition in India in March 2008.
RoboSwift’s design is revealed in a new video.