Fly robot inspired by da Vinci

Aug. 30, 2011 at 4:30 AM

MILAN, Italy, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- The creators of a fly-like robot with a 1.18-inch wingspan on display in Italy said they were inspired by Leonardo da Vinci's research from the Renaissance.

Robert Wood, the Harvard University researcher who designed the robot, and U.S. aerospace engineer David Doman, who designed the flight mechanism, are showing off their creation this week at the triennial meeting of the International Federation of Automated Control in Milan, ANSA reported Monday.

The robot, which aims to replicate the shape and movements of a fly, was inspired by da Vinci's studies on flight.

"Leonardo da Vinci's dreams are coming true," IFAC president Alberto Isidori said. "This is the first concrete example of a wing-flap aircraft capable of mimicking the performance of a moving helicopter."

The creators of the robot said their project has received funding from the U.S. Department of Defense.

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