A Week in Review: 4/28/13 – 5/4/13

April 30, 2013

UMD Robot Bird Takes Maneuverability to New Height
University of Maryland professors S. K. Gupta and Hugh Bruck and their students have developed and demonstrated a new robotic bird, “Robo Raven”, whose wings flap completely independently of each other, and also can be programmed to perform any desired motion, enabling the bird to perform aerobatic maneuvers. This is the first time a robotic bird with these capabilities has been built and successfully flown.
http://umdrightnow.umd.edu/news/umd-robot-bird-takes-maneuverability-new-height

May 1, 2013

Printable Functional ‘Bionic’ Ear Melds Electronics and Biology
Scientists at Princeton University used off-the-shelf printing tools to create a functional ear that can “hear” radio frequencies far beyond the range of normal human capacity. The researchers’ primary purpose was to explore an efficient and versatile means to merge electronics with tissue. The scientists used 3D printing of cells and nanoparticles followed by cell culture to combine a small coil antenna with cartilage, creating what they term a bionic ear. This research was supported by The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Grand Challenges Program at Princeton University.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130501193208.htm

May 2, 2013

Robotic insects make first controlled flight
In culmination of a decade’s work, RoboBees achieve vertical takeoff, hovering, and steering
The demonstration of the first controlled flight of an insect-sized robot is the culmination of more than a decade’s work, led by researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard.
http://wyss.harvard.edu/viewpressrelease/110/

May 3, 2013

X-51A Waverider achieves breakthrough in final flight
The final flight of the X-51A Waverider test program has accomplished a breakthrough in the development of flight reaching Mach 5.1 over the Pacific Ocean May 1. The crusier achieved Mach 5.1 traveling 230 nautical miles in just over six minutes, making this test the longest air-breathing hypersonic flight ever.
http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123346970