Introducing the hummingbird robot: the first UAV of its kind since 2011

a small robot with two flappable wings

Image: Look College of Engineering

A hummingbird robot – capable of controlled flight via a custom-developed ultra-light autopilot – debuted in the recent issue IEEE Spectrum, the online magazine of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The machine is the work of researchers in Texas A&M University’s Dwight Look College of Engineering

The unmanned drone represents only the second hover-capable, two-winged, flapping-wing platform ever built, and the first since 2011.

The flying robot maintains flight with an on-board microprocessor and an inertial measurement unit, a complex device that measures and reports a craft’s velocity and orientation.

The humming-bot’s inventors – Moble Benedict, an assistant professor of aerospace engineering, and graduate student David Coleman – have presented the project results at several regional and national conferences.

They developed the flying robot within the engineering college’s Advanced Vertical Flight Laboratory, which focuses on next-generation, hover-capable, unmanned aerial vehicles, particularly small-scale cycloidal-rotor and flapping-wing based vehicles.

More at the College of Engineering