Batbot: Building a functionally correct bat wing robot

Batbot is a project wherein the researchers are attempting to mimic the biological structure of a bat wing for flight. The desire is to attain the maneuverability and agility you see in bat flight due to the ever changing shape of their wings. Also, bats look really cool.  In attempting to mimic the structure, they have decided to use SMA based artificial muscles and steel tendons as opposed to the typical cam linkage you would see in most ornithopters.

Unfortunately, there’s no video of this bot attempting to fly. There is a video (below) of a presentation on the project that explains in detail what they are doing, and how they are doing it. It also has some really cool slow motion footage of real bats doing what they do.

[via Adafruit]

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Build a simple bat detector

[Tony Messina] had been fascinated with bat’s echolocation since he was a kid. After he retired, he decided to act on this fascination and built a simple bat detector.

The simple bat detector uses frequency division to lower the bat’s chirping to a frequency we can hear. For example, if a bat is calling at 91kHz the system will divide it by 16 and put out 5.7kHz. The system is digital, so all amplitude is lost. You’ll just hear clicks like a Geiger counter. Being digital has its advantages though. Unlike similar analog devices that have to be tuned to a small frequency range, the simple bat detector can detect a much wider window.

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