Research

Hawk Moth Hovering

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The hawk moth (Manduca sexta) flies quite similarly to a hummingbird, able to hover over the flowers from which it feeds by rotating its wings as it flaps.  This constant change in angle of attack allows it to maintain lift while remaining stationary in space. Researchers study the stability of such miniature hovering flight by destabilizing the moths and studying how they react to disturbances like being struck with a miniature clay cannonball. By testing how the moths recover from disturbances, we can learn how to build better robots and micro air vehicles (MAVs). (via supercuddlypuppies)

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