This video demonstrates a new robotic bird, "Robo Raven," whose wings flap completely independently of each other, and also can be programmed to perform any desired motion, enabling the bird to perform aerobatic maneuvers. This is the first time a robotic bird with these capabilities has been built and successfully flown. 'Robo Raven', developed by University of Maryland Professors S. K. Gupta and Hugh Bruck and their students uses two programmable motors that can be synchronized electronically to coordinate motion between the wings. 'Robo Raven' can now be programmed to any desired motion patterns for the wings which allows new in-flight aerobatics—like diving and rolling—that would have not been possible before, bringing the 'Robo Raven' team a big step closer to faithfully reproducing the way real birds fly.
The Maryland Robotics Center is an interdisciplinary research center housed in the Institute for Systems Research within the
A. James Clark School of Engineering. The mission of the center is to advance robotic systems, underlying component technologies, and applications of robotics through research and educational programs that are interdisciplinary in nature and based on a systems approach.
The center's research activities include all aspects of robotics including development of component technologies (e.g., sensors, actuators, structures, and communication), novel robotic platforms, and intelligence and autonomy for robotic systems. The center consists of faculty members spanning the following academic departments: Aerospace Engineering, Bioengineering, Biology, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Kinesiology and Mechanical Engineering. Research projects in the center are supported by the major federal funding agencies including NSF, ARO, ARL, ONR, AFOSR, NIH, DARPA, NASA, and NIST.
Current research areas
. Collaborative, Cooperative, Networked Robotics:bio-inspired robotics concepts, time-delayed robotics, robotic swarms, robotic cooperation under limited communication, and distributed robotics.
. Medical Robotics: MRI-compatible surgical robotics, haptics-enabled AFM, exoskeletons for rehabilitation, and magnetic micromanipulation for drug delivery.
. Miniature Robotics: mesoscale robots; bio-inspired sensing, actuation, and locomotion; cell manipulation (optical, AFM based, and micro fluidics); and micro and nano manipulation (optical and magnetic).
. Robotics for Extreme Environments: space robotics and autonomous deep-submergence sampling systems.
. Unmanned Vehicles: micro air vehicles, unmanned sea surface vehicles, unmanned underwater vehicles, and planetary surface rovers.