Indirect actuation reduces flight power requirements in Manduca sexta via elastic energy exchange

Jeff Gau, Nick Gravish & Simon Sponberg
In many insects, wing movements are generated indirectly via exoskeletal deformations. Measurements of inertial and aerodynamic power suggest that elastic recovery of energy between wingstrokes might reduce power requirements of flight. We tested three questions. 1) Can the thorax itself provide significant energy return? 2) Does a simple damped elastic model describe the bulk mechanical behavior? and 3) Are different regions of the thorax specialized for elastic energy exchange? We measured deformation mechanics of the...
1 citation reported since publication in 2020.
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