Description:  In the top image, the red admiral butterfly is at the top of its upstroke. The horizontal ring in the smoke to the right of the yellow artificial flower is the vortex produced by the previous downstroke. In the bottom image, the vortex is breaking up after the butterfly has passed its wings through it in order to recapture some of its energy.
Source:  Robert Srygley and Adrian Thomas, University of Oxford
Story:  Butterflies offer lessons for robots
TRN February 12/19, 2003
TRN Categories:  Applied Technology; Biology; MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS); Robotics; Physics
Form:  Still

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