Whoosh! Swish! Meet Bat Bot, the new flying batlike drone

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Bat Robot_517662

This photo provided by Alireza Ramezani, University of Illinois, shows a Bat Bot, a three-ounce flying robot that they say can be more agile at getting into treacherous places than standard drones. Because it mimics the unique and more flexible way bats fly, this new robot prototype can do a better and safer job getting […]

WASHINGTON (AP) — Holy drone, Batman! Mechanical masterminds have spawned the Bat Bot, a soaring, sweeping and diving robot that may eventually fly circles around other drones.

Bat Bot’s creators say this 3-ounce prototype could do a better and safer job getting into disaster sites and scoping out construction zones than bulky drones with spinning rotors. It mimics the unique and flexible way bats fly and has a wingspan of a foot-and-a-half.

The bat robot flaps its wings for better aerial maneuvers, glides to save energy and dive bombs when needed. Eventually, the researchers hope to have it perch upside down like the real thing, but that will have to wait for the robot’s sequel.

Bat Bot was announced in a study released Wednesday in the journal Science Robotics.

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