Small robotic birds could be useful for tasks such as environmental monitoring and conducting surveillance. But the major drawback they have is the amount of time they are able to stay aloft. Because of the birds’ light weight and small size, the tiny batteries used to power them deplete in just minutes.
University of Maryland Professors S.K. Gupta and Hugh Bruck and their students in the Maryland Robotics Center are working on a solution that will allow longer flights and battery recharging in remote places without electrical outlets. The Clark School of Engineering team has developed a new version of its robotic micro air vehicle (MAV) that incorporates solar panels in its wings.
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