Robot made by Hiroko Tanaka from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Isao Shimoyama from Capital University, Tokyo created similar to natural model. Their wings are designed naturally, have a similar shape and structure.
As a robot model, the scientists chose the Swallowtail butterfly family. This butterfly are ideal for their particular physical structure build: Their wings are larger compared to its body.
By using a robot that was filmed with high speed camera while flying, the researchers were able to verify that the swallowtail butterfly can actually fly with a very simple mechanism. Other butterflies, as their ratio of body weight to wing is unfavorable, must rely on more complex mechanisms in order to move in the air, such as changing the angle of the wing. Tanaka and Shimoyama want to find ways to use this model for various aerodynamic systems.
Swallowtail butterfly, which includes among other local swallowtail, is one of the largest butterflies. Queen Alexandra Birdwing family has the largest butterfly : The female can have a about 25 cm wingspan.
Robotics machine models are often inspired by nature. They have been called a mini flying robot (Micro-Aerial Vehicle, MAV) which is designed to resemble a dragonfly or a bat. While the MAVs were developed for a lot of research, to learn about the handling characteristics, while others are intended for military purposes such as urban warfare.