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Article

Biomimetic Drones Inspired by Dragonflies Will Require a Systems Based Approach and Insights from Biology

1
UniSA STEM, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, SA 5095, Australia
2
Joint and Operations Analysis Division, Defence Science and Technology Group, Melbourne, VIC 3207, Australia
3
Aerospace Division, Defence Science and Technology Group, Melbourne, VIC 3207, Australia
4
Department of Aerospace Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Seri Kembangan, Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: David R. Green
Drones 2021, 5(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones5020024
Received: 1 March 2021 / Revised: 21 March 2021 / Accepted: 21 March 2021 / Published: 27 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers of Drones)
Many drone platforms have matured to become nearly optimal flying machines with only modest improvements in efficiency possible. “Chimera” craft combine fixed wing and rotary wing characteristics while being substantially less efficient than both. The increasing presence of chimeras suggests that their mix of vertical takeoff, hover, and more efficient cruise is invaluable to many end users. We discuss the opportunity for flapping wing drones inspired by large insects to perform these mixed missions. Dragonflies particularly are capable of efficiency in all modes of flight. We will explore the fundamental principles of dragonfly flight to allow for a comparison between proposed flapping wing technological solutions and a flapping wing organism. We chart one approach to achieving the next step in drone technology through systems theory and an appreciation of how biomimetics can be applied. New findings in dynamics of flapping, practical actuation technology, wing design, and flight control are presented and connected. We show that a theoretical understanding of flight systems and an appreciation of the detail of biological implementations may be key to achieving an outcome that matches the performance of natural systems. We assert that an optimal flapping wing drone, capable of efficiency in all modes of flight with high performance upon demand, might look somewhat like an abstract dragonfly. View Full-Text
Keywords: drone; dragonfly; insect; biomimetic; biological inspiration; aerodynamics; design drone; dragonfly; insect; biomimetic; biological inspiration; aerodynamics; design
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chahl, J.; Chitsaz, N.; McIvor, B.; Ogunwa, T.; Kok, J.-M.; McIntyre, T.; Abdullah, E. Biomimetic Drones Inspired by Dragonflies Will Require a Systems Based Approach and Insights from Biology. Drones 2021, 5, 24. https://doi.org/10.3390/drones5020024

AMA Style

Chahl J, Chitsaz N, McIvor B, Ogunwa T, Kok J-M, McIntyre T, Abdullah E. Biomimetic Drones Inspired by Dragonflies Will Require a Systems Based Approach and Insights from Biology. Drones. 2021; 5(2):24. https://doi.org/10.3390/drones5020024

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chahl, Javaan, Nasim Chitsaz, Blake McIvor, Titilayo Ogunwa, Jia-Ming Kok, Timothy McIntyre, and Ermira Abdullah. 2021. "Biomimetic Drones Inspired by Dragonflies Will Require a Systems Based Approach and Insights from Biology" Drones 5, no. 2: 24. https://doi.org/10.3390/drones5020024

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