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DRONES: MEET DARWIN

Scientists are working on more nimble, powerful drones that mimic bat aerodynamics

By Michael Tabb

Whether they’re racing for sport, delivering packages or filming movies, most drones today look pretty much the same. But some researchers say drones of the future may look a lot less like quadcopters and more like bats.

Dozens of laboratories around the world are trying to improve flight technology by modeling it after mammals and birds. Except as it turns out, we don’t fully understand how many of those winged creatures move so efficiently. Watch the video above to see one of the latest discoveries in bat aerodynamics—an insight that could bring us one step closer to a future of flapping-wing drones.