Jul 3, 2013

Using Super Slow Motion to Study the Biomechanics of Flight

It's certainly not the first time we've seen hummingbirds in slow motion, but the engineer's perspective adds a new facet to our fascination with beasts that can fly. Thanks to hours of footage recorded in the lab, the researchers are making some progress identifying how the tiny moving parts of living aircraft work together. Take, for example, the shaking motion the researchers observed:
Students Andreas Peña Doll and Rivers Ingersoll filmed hummingbirds performing a never-before-seen "shaking" behavior: As the bird dived off a branch, it wiggled and twisted its body along its spine, the same way a wet dog would try to dry off. At 55 times per second, hummingbirds have the fastest body shake among vertebrates on the planet – almost twice as fast as a mouse.
So now we've seen it, which is just the beginning when it comes to engineering. Now someone has to figure out what purpose that shaking serves, and if it's useful, someone has to build a bot that can mimic nature. More here.


Sage Harman said...

You have a really great site! I love how useful a lot of your topics are. I was wondering if you would consider mentioning my website on your next post? I’ll be sure to mention yours on my blog in return. Thanks!

sage.harman123 at


YeamieWaffles said...

This is just amazing man, absolutely love this video, thank you for sharing.