From IEEE Spectrum:

There are lots of innovative ways of landing robotic aircraft, from cables to parachutes to controlled crashes. Arguably, none of these ways are ideal, with ideal referring to an aircraft that makes a gentle landing just exactly where you want it. Say, right on the back of your hand. 

Part of what makes this robot (under development at the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) so cool is the fact that it uses flapping wings for extra maneuverability and, one has to assume, at least a little bit of thrust. This bio-inspired model (based on birds and bats) can reorient its wings while gliding, providing glide-phase control without a bunch of extra complicated and heavy actuators. It's highly effective control, too, and allows a thrown micro air vehicle (MAV) to make a pinpoint landing on the back of an outstretched hand:

Views: 971

Comment by Eric Tweet on May 3, 2012 at 12:46am

My sophisticated and sciency comment: So freaking cool! :)

Comment by Jack Crossfire on May 3, 2012 at 2:54am

He moved his hand.


Moderator
Comment by Gary Mortimer on May 3, 2012 at 3:29am

Yes many people have commented around the web about that Jack......

Comment by Ellison Chan on May 3, 2012 at 8:01am

Very hard to do the landing like that without feet.  Even a real bird would not be able land like that just from wing and tail control alone.  It still uses its feet to grab the perch for the final adjustment. 

Comment by Dimitar Kolev on May 3, 2012 at 9:49am

Cool!

Comment by Brandin Sloms on May 3, 2012 at 1:47pm

oh look! he's moving his hand to simulate a tree branch in the wind and it still lands on his hand!

FAIL

Ya its close but there is nothing more annoying than someone claiming to do something they almost did.

Comment by Brandin Sloms on May 3, 2012 at 1:48pm

criticism aside it is cool, they will get there soon enough

Comment by Wladyslaw Motyka on May 3, 2012 at 10:56pm

Wow ... The Future :)

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