Bat Con 2010 could have been a decidedly depressing science meeting, with days full of papers discussing bat deaths from white-nose syndrome, wind turbines and killings by superstitious people. But not everything was doom-and-gloom.
What could be more effective and potentially terrifying than spying on your enemies with robot bats? That what researchers at North Carolina State were thinking when they started working on creating robotic versions of the furry fliers. The idea is to create micro-aerial vehicles, or MAVs, that would be used for surveillance or detection of weapons. However, most MAV prototypes use fixed-wing body shapes, which don't provide the same level the maneuverability that nature's flapping wings do.