A French inventor took to Kickstarter last week to raise funds for an insect-inspired winged drone called MetaFly. It generated quite a bit of buzz. At the time this article was published, more than 1,850 people had pledged more than $187,500 to bring the drone to market.
Unlike traditional commercial drones, which use propellers to generate lift, winged drones use, you guessed it, wings to take flight. Much like the bees it’s modeled after, MetaFly flaps its wings vigorously, creating a differential between draft and lift — an efficient flight mechanic used by flying animals. Thanks in part to this efficiency, the drone is lightweight and maneuverable, if at times a bit erratic in flight.
“[MetaFly’s] purpose is to allow you to discover and experience this unique way of flying,” Edwin Van Ruymbeke, MetaFly’s inventor, told Digital Trends. “This is exciting at a whole different level compared with usual drones or flying models.”