|2 October 2008
GSA Release No. 08-58
Director of Education, Communication, & Outreach
Program Manager, Communications
Pterodactyl-Inspired Robot to Master Air, Ground, and Sea
Paleontologist Sankar Chatterjee of Texas Tech University, aeronautical engineer Rick Lind of the University of Florida, and their students, Andy Gedeon and Brian Roberts, have reached back in time 115 million years to one of the most successful flying creatures in Earth’s history, the pterodactyl, to conjure a robotic spy plane with next-generation capabilities.
Mimicking the physical and biological characteristics of the Early Cretaceous Brazilian pterosaur Tapejara wellnhoferi — skin, blood vessels, muscles, tendons, nerves, cranial plate, skeletal structure, and more — the scientists are working to develop a Pterodrone — an unmanned aerial vehicle that not only flies but also walks and sails just like the original.
"The next generation of airborne drones won’t just be small and silent," says the multidisciplinary group, "they’ll alter their wing shapes using morphing techniques to squeeze through confined spaces, dive between buildings, zoom under overpasses, land on apartment balconies, or sail along the coastline."
The talk on Tuesday, 7 October, at the 2008 Joint Meeting of the Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America-American Society of Agronomy-Crop Science Society of America, and Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies, in Houston, Texas, will provide illustrations of both the Tapejara and the proposed Pterodrone, with details on the richly improved ability of the robotic spy plane to gather data from sights, sounds, and smells in a variety of environments.
**WHEN & WHERE**
Tuesday, 7 October 2008, 4:15-4:30 p.m.
George R. Brown Convention Center, Room 351CF
View abstract, session no. 260, paper no. 12:
Pterodactyl-Inspired Unmanned Aerial Vehicle with Multimodal Locomotion
For on-site assistance during the 2008 Joint Annual Meeting, 5-9 October, contact Christa Stratton or Sara Uttech in the Newsroom, George R. Brown Convention Center, Room 350B, +1-713-853-8329.
After the meeting contact:
Geosciences, Texas Tech University
MS Box 41053, Lubbock, Texas 79409-3191, USA
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
For more information on the 2008 Joint Meeting visit www.acsmeetings.org.