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China Daily / 2020-05 / 23 / Page010

Fly, MetaFly, fly

China Daily | Updated: 2020-05-23 00:00

If you've been struggling to get your drone off the ground, then perhaps it's time to switch to a different flying experience-with the MetaFly, a lifelike, remote-controlled biomimetic flying creature that's effectively as light and miniaturized as a big insect.

With a 29 cm wingspan, MetaFly's paper-thin synthetic wings are made from carbon fiber and liquid crystal polymer; the ornithopter weighs less than 10 grams. It has a range of 100 meters and can fly for around eight minutes on a 12-minute charge. In favorable conditions, it can reach 20 kilometers per hour.

The owner of the Marseilles-based startup behind MetaFly, Edwin Van Ruymbeke, previously invented the Bionic Bird in 2014, which has now been rechristened MetaBird. Model birds that can fly aren't new-in fact, they've been used in some form since the 19th century, whether for scaring birds away from airports or as a part of surveillance operations. What distinguishes MetaFly is its greater stealth and precision. You'll have to see what all the buzz is about for yourself...

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