The Bat Bot group at University of Illinois Urbana Champaign is making the B2 even more bat like and cooler. The latest developments will be reported in May at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in Stockholm.
Preview videos indicates that they have covered the BB with very bat-like skin—it really, really looks like a bat!
They are also improving the behavior, implementing closed loop control logic for the complex twisty flappy bat flight. I don’t actually know, but I will bet that bats use closed loop neural control to fly, and it will ultimately be interesting to compare the Bat Bot to natural bats, to understand the essence of bat flight.
- Ramezani, X. Shi, S.-J. Chung, and S. Hutchinson, “Bat Bot (B2), A Biologically Inspired Flying Machine,” Proc. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Stockholm, Sweden, May 16-21, 2016.