“Soaring birds are catching a ride on rising air currents to save energy, and now researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, are aiming to develop bio-inspired UAVs capable of doing the same thing. Working in collaboration with the Australian Department of Defence’s Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), the RMIT research team is aiming to develop a small fixed-wing unmanned aircraft that is able to autonomously take advantage of rising air currents around buildings to save energy and improve endurance.”
Where I live, even ravens can occasionally be seen trying their wings at soaring. I’m ashamed to say that making use of updrafts to lift a UAV hadn’t previously occurred to me, but in retrospect it seems obvious.
See on www.gizmag.com