Introducing the BionicFlyingFox, inspired by a flying fox (obviously). Thanks to its intelligent kinematics, the BionicFlyingFox can master agile flying manoeuvres of its natural role model. In order to be able to move in a defined space semi-autonomously, it constantly communicates with a motion-tracking system.
The ultra-lightweight flying object is able to move semi-autonomously in the defined airspace, due to the combination of the integrated onboard electronics with an external motion-tracking system. The device closely mimics the unusual flying characteristics of the large fruit bat, which is one of the only mammals capable of flight. One particular feature of this species is a fine elastic membrane that stretches across the extended metacarpal and finger bones down to the foot joints.
The wingspan of the BionicFlyingFox is 228cm and it has a body of 87cm, the artificial flying fox weighs just 580g. Like the natural flying fox, its wing kinematics are also divided into primaries and secondaries and covered with an elastic membrane, which continues from the wings down to the feet. This makes the wing area relatively large, allowing for a low area loading.
The model's flying membrane is wafer-thin and ultralight whilst also robust. It consists of two airtight films and knitted elastane fabric, which are welded together at approximately 45,000 points. The fabric used on the wings are honeycomb structure that prevents small cracks in the flying membrane from getting bigger. This means that the BionicFlyingFox can continue flying even if the fabric sustains minor damages.