Stanford University researchers want to build better flying robots. In order to eventually do this, they are filming birds in flight (including hummingbirds) using an ultra-high-speed video camera. Some of the clips they've acquired are nothing short of amazing.
As we've discussed before, scientists and engineers can learn to build faster, more agile robots by studying the locomotion of animals. In the past, for example, researchers found that the abdomen of the hawkmoth plays a pivotal role in the insect's flight control while hovering — a discovery they then implemented into a robotic quadrotor.