The nature-inspired “ornithopter” concept has taken on an entirely new meaning after researchers built drones not only modeled after birds, but made from their corpses. An ornithopter is a type of aircraft designed to emulate the flight mechanics of birds and other flying animals (i.e. insects and bats) by incorporating wing-flapping. Think Dune’s dragonfly-reminiscent ‘thopters. In reality, attempts to build such craft capable of carrying humans have seen minimal success, but advancements in drone technology have given the design new direction. Shrunk down, it’s been made viable for other purposes, like observation.

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Author: Cheyenne MacDonald