The DelFly project aims to develop an autonomous flapping-wing micro air vehicle. This involves many challenging design aspects, such as mechanics, materials, aerodynamics, electronics and control.
The strategy of the DelFly project is to follow a top-down approach: the focus is first on developing a fully operational and autonomous system (which is not the smallest), and then make the step to a smaller scale.
The DelFly uses a stereo-vision system to avoid obstacles. It is also equipped with a barometer to maintain height. The combination of sensors enables the DelFly to take-off, ascend to a chosen height and fly around for up to 9 minutes without the need of external control. Successful tests have been performed in different spaces, such as the Cyber Zoo. The current record of 9 minutes is restricted by the battery.