The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the recent research on the interaction between flight mechanics and sensory/control systems in flies. It furthermore, explores the application to biomimetic micro‐air vehicles (MAVs).
A review of recent literature on flight in flies is given first, whereafter two biomimetic case studies are discussed; the optic flow sensor developed by a French team and the micro‐mechanical flying insect project at the University of Berkeley.
The paper discusses the many areas where biological knowledge on flight in flies can be used by designers of MAVs.
Fully autonomous MAVs, inspired by insect flight, could be useful in a wide range of areas including search‐and‐rescue, surveillance and for military purposes.
The paper gives an up to date overview of dipteran flight behaviour and points to ways in which this knowledge can be applied to MAVs. The paper should thus be useful for biologists wishing to collaborate with engineers as well as for engineers and sensor designers seeking inspiration from nature.
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