Johns Hopkins Researchers: Bat Biology Could Lead to Better Aircraft


♪ [music] ♪ Bats have evolved this remarkable agility
in flight. It’s powered flight, they’re flapping their wings and they can control
where they fly, how they fly and they can make very rapid adjustments and this
flight control is very much dependent on the sense of touch, which has been under
appreciated until recently. Bats, in their wings, have an array of sensors. Our work
really focused on the sense of touch in the wing and how that information is
transmitted to the central nervous system, to the brain, to encode information the
bat could use to adjust its flight. These receptors in the wings are important for
providing the bat with touch information that it uses to guide its flight. This
kind of information could be very important in the design of aircraft,
particularly aircraft that must maneuver through complex environments, not just out
in the open sky. It might need the same kind of agility and maneuverability that
bats show. Biology has done an exquisite job in creating these animals that can
maneuver so agilely. So, we might be able to learn some basic principles from the
bat that could be transferred into technology. ♪ [music] ♪

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