Biomimicry, in which engineers and scientists look to nature for inspiration, has a long and storied history, and it's especially useful for flying robots. Fixed-wing 'bots, with propellers or jet engines, have difficulty adjusting to less-than-ideal conditions. Point a fan at most flying surveillance robots and you can blow them right out of the air. But natural bird flight is much more flexible and capable of things robots can't do, like changing angles and directions at a moment's notice, adjusting on the fly for wind conditions, and contorting to fit into smaller spaces. If we want better flying robots, why not look to the birds?