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Check Out the 'Batcopter' Drone That's Figuring Out How Bats Swarm


"...they have very tight control over what they're doing."

Researchers at Boston University have built a device, informally known as the Batcopter, that is attempting to figure out how large swarms of bats manage not to fly independently and randomly without running into each other.

It's not just a question to be answered for just knowledge's sake though. Team leader John Ballieul said that such flying techniques could then be used in large swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles used by the military.

Watch the Reuters' report on the development and research being conducted with the Batcopter:

This Batcopter is a quadcopter composed of carbon-fiber rods, packing foam and zip ties and includes a camera to record the bats, according to the Reuters.

"You see them kind of flutter around and dive as they're going after insects," Nathan Fuller who helped launch the Batcopter said as he showed the bats' behavior with his hands. "It's not that they're poor fliers. It's that they have very tight control over what they're doing."

According to Reuters, the researchers want to learn the flying ability of bats so drones could be developed to fly as a group and anticipate each other's movements.

Version two of the Batcopter was created earlier this year as an improvement over an aluminum frame that "had its limits," according the BU Intelligent Mechatronics Lab blog.

Here you can watch the Batcopter fly in a bat swarm:

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