The University of Maryland (UMD) Autonomous Vehicles Laboratory (AVL) was featured in this month’s issue of a monthly e-newsletter and blog published by the American Society for Engineering Education.
"Spotlight: The Benefits of Biomimicry" highlighted current research in the area of biologically inspired engineering. Taking cues from nature's creatures, like bees and termites, researchers are developing solutions to complex engineering challenges.
Researchers at AVL are currently working on a number of projects to improve flight for autonomous flying vehicles. As part of the project, MURI – AIRFOILS: Animal-Inspired Robust Flight with Outer and Inner Loop Strategies, researchers at the lab are observing bee behavior—in particular, how bees fly in windy conditions—to improve vehicles' ability to handle changing environmental conditions such as wind gusts and turbulence. The team's goal is to build micro- and nano-scale vehicles that could be used in disaster site exploration or observation and reconnaissance applications.