Robo Raven, the Robotic Bird

Meet Robo Raven, an incredible flying robot complete with independent wing movements that mimic actual birds.

“With Robo Raven, we can digitally control each wing independently. Now, Robo Raven can generate any desired aerodynamic force for aerobatics just like real birds.”

Robo Raven was created at the University of Maryland under the direction of professors S.K. Gupta and Hugh Bruck. It’s actually quite the breakthrough; until now, engineers hadn’t successfully created a flying robot that could flap its wings independently of one another. The motions are preprogrammed, and allow for strikingly lifelike aerobatics.


Hop over to Gupta’s blog for a full explanation of the robot’s development and a description of how it works.

“Robo Raven will enable us to explore new in-flight aerobatics. It will also allow us to more faithfully reproduce observed bird flights using robotic birds. I hope that this robotic bird will also inspire more people to choose “bird making” as their hobby!

Robotic birds (i.e., flapping wing micro air vehicles) are expected to offer advances in many different applications such as agriculture, surveillance, and environmental monitoring. Robo Raven is just the beginning. Many exciting developments lie ahead. The exotic bird that you might spot in your next trip to Hawaii might actually be a robot!”

Well, that’s reassuring.

Anyway, how do you know you’ve succeeded at creating a lifelike robot bird? When it’s attacked by hawk.



Rob Schwarz

Writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions.