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» Newly Invented Drone Flies Like a Fruit Fly

Just one of many examples of biomimicry.

Dutch researchers have designed and built a new flying drone that mimics fruit flies. A team of scientists from a laboratory at Delft University (MAVLab) and Wageningen University created the highly-maneuverable autonomous flying machine in order to better understand the flight dynamics of fruit flies.

The drone, called the DelFly Nimble, is capable of making 90-degree turns with hardly any lost momentum, and it can almost instantly reverse direction, allowing it to execute turns even tighter than 90 degrees. Its four wings flap 17 beats per second, and it can hover and fly in any direction with only subtle changes to its wing motions. It can fly at 25 km/h (15.5 mph) and perform flips, barrel rolls, and 180-degree maneuvers. The drone can fly for 5 minutes and up to 1 km on a fully charged battery. These capabilities may be useful in designing applications for commercial drones.

“Insect-inspired drones have a high potential for novel applications, as they are light-weight, safe around humans and are able to fly more efficiently than more traditional drone designs, especially at smaller scales,” said Professor Guido de Croon, a scientific leader at MAVLab. “However, until now, these flying robots had not realized this potential since they were either not agile enough – such as our DelFly II – or they required an overly complex manufacturing process.”

MAVLab has been building insect-like robots for more than ten years, but the DelFly Nimble is the first to offer maneuverability to make potential applications possible in areas other than research.

One must marvel at the scientists who have designed and built such a maneuverable machine which undoubtedly has great potential for being a useful tool. But, of course, we can’t forget, as mainstream scientists often do, that the insects on which the design of these drones is based must also have been intelligently designed. In fact, the manmade drones at present seem to be limited to 5 minutes of flight. Fruit flies surely can go much, much longer than that without needing to recharge.

Biomimicry or biomimetics is the practice of copying designs found in nature for the purpose of creating new inventions or ways of doing things. Some other examples of biomimicry are Velcro (based on the burdock plant), bullet trains (after kingfisher birds), and better shock absorbers (after woodpeckers).  Along with all the other evidence that nature has been designed by an Intelligence, how is it possible for scientists to look at nature and not see God’s hand?

St. Paul would agree such a blind spot is not logical, for he writes: “In fact, [God’s]  invisible characteristics—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, because they are understood from the things he made. As a result, people are without excuse, because, even though they knew God, they did not honor him or give him thanks as God. … Although they claim to be wise, they have become fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human, or like birds, four-footed animals, and crawling things” (Romans 1:20-22).

Instead of dwelling on such things as fossils, natural selection, and gradual changes, today’s scientists should be seeing Jesus. The men in Galilee who witnessed Jesus’s ascension were told: “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking up into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (Acts1:11). We are all awaiting the return of the Designer of the universe and our Savior.

Reference: Cal Jeffrey, “Dutch researchers created a drone that flies like a fruit fly,” Techspot [September 14, 2018]. (Photo of a fruit fly from Wikimedia Commons, by John Tann.)


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What is the correct spelling for the plural of “octopus“?

Not octopi, because octopus is a Greek word and octopi is based on Latin grammar. The correct plural is octopodes, although octopuses is also acceptable.

Source: Nathaniel Scharping, “Octopuses,” Discover [July/August, 2018], page 56.


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About Me--Warren Krug The Editor
Decades ago I attended a so-called Lutheran university where I could have lost my faith. The science professors promoted the theory of evolution and made fun of anybody who believed in the account of creation as presented in the book of Genesis. Thanks be to God, some creationist literature and the Bible soon helped get me back on the right track. Ever since then I have taken an active interest in the creation/evolution controversy.

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