When watching a fly smack into a window over and over -- buzzing and falling and climbing again -- most people probably wind up doing one of two things: reach for a flyswatter, or, if they're a bit more compassionate, open the window.
Members of a robotics team at the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne did a third thing: they got inspired.
"We were looking at insects and how they fly and how even though they manage to avoid most obstacles, they still manage to fly into windows and fly into walls, yet it's OK. They don't break..." team member Adam Klaptocz says in the video embedded below. "So we thought instead of making robots that just avoid obstacles, why don't we make a robot that can crash into things, get back up again, and keep flying?"… Read more