Vision-enabled flapping wing micro air vehicle weighs just 20 grams

The DelFly Explorer, which is reportedly the first flapping wing micro air vehicle (MAV) that can operate autonomously, weighs just 20 grams, has a wingspan of 28 cm, and features an onboard stereo vision system for navigation.

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The DelFly Explorer, which is reportedly the first flapping wing micro air vehicle (MAV) that can operate autonomously, weighs just 20 grams, has a wingspan of 28 cm, and features an onboard stereo vision system for navigation.

The Explorer’s four-gram vision system is comprised of two cameras and a processor, along with a stereo vision algorithm, which was implemented to "cope with the absence of visual texture," which often happens in indoor environments, according to DelFly. The algorithm also deals with the distortions introduced by the MAV’s flapping motion and the rolling shutter cameras. In addition, the Explorer features a control algorithm that ensures obstacle-free flight by construction.

Delfly’s Explorer is able to take off, ascend to a chosen height, and fly for up to nine minutes along an obstacle-free trajectory without the need for external control. Additional research and development for the DelFly Explorer will focus on full autonomous navigate, which will hopefully enable the MAV to explore not only individual rooms, but also to fly from one room to another.

View more information on the DelFly Explorer.

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