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At the Aresty Summer Science Program poster session, held in the Busch Campus Center Aug. 8, Rutgers undergrads presented their work in a variety of sciences. Trent Handlovsky, a sophomore majoring in mechanical and aerospace engineering and his team shared their work on Flying Insects and Flapping Robots.  They had been studying the flight patterns of insects. The objective of their research was to study insects and their flight mechanics and apply it to the miniature aircraft they built to improve flight characteristics. Utilizing an extensive database provided by their teacher, Mitsunori “Mitch” Denda, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, they planned, built, and assessed their “ornothopter” by testing different variables. They examined a split-wing design, angled flight, vascular patterns, and wing deformation with their model. They discovered that a split-wing design allows each wing to act independently of the other and to move about more easily, the angled flight keeps the tail lifted at a certain angle, and vascular patterns with support toward the front allows for a more advantageous wing deformation pattern. They also found wing deformation maintains the “angle of attack,” which enables the wing to operate as it would in nature.

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