Robot Bird Alights On Human Hand

For the first time, a robotic bird has been designed that is capable of flying to a person's hand, and perching there. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researcher Soon-Jo Chung created a Bio-inspired Tail-less Agile MAV with Articulated Wings and Robotic Perching Flight.


(Robot Bird Perches On Human Hand)

“There’s a lot to learn from bio systems,” Chung said. “Bats can fly with damaged wings. They are so agile and highly maneuverable; they can make rapid 180-degree turns autonomously and they can fly indoors without colliding with obstacles. These qualities are desirable for small aircraft that could be used in surveillance, particularly in urban settings where obstacles hamper movement and satellite control is blocked.”

I can't find the quote, but I think that the robot birds from Philip E. High's 1968 novel Invader on My Back could perform this feat:

He ruffled his plastic feathers. "I have calculated... that the retentive capacity of my memory is now restricted to a mere 70,000 additional words - how about fixing me up with two more retentive banks?"

...Craig smiled faintly. "As soon as possible and that's a promise." Gun extended one wing, examined his feathers and said: "Many thanks."

When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit. Over the years, however, he had given them life and intelligence... They had developed into personalities and provided stimulating companions in his isolation.

From GigaOm.

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