17 for 2017: The Year in News at Caltech

During the last 12 months, Caltech researchers have detected gravitational waves from the collision of two neutron stars, developed an ultrathin lensless camera, figured out how flies crawl underwater in Mono Lake, and coaxed bacteria into making boron-carbon bonds.

And that's just for starters. In case you missed any of the year's news, here are 17 of the most notable moments from 2017.

photo of Soon-Jo Chung holding a mechanical bat
Credit: Caltech

A Robot Drone That Mimics Bat Flight

Using a custom-made silicon skin and articulated morphing wings, researchers at Caltech and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign created Bat Bot, an autonomous flying robot that mimics the key flight characteristics of real bats. Bat Bot weighs only 93 grams and is shaped like a bat with a roughly 1-foot wingspan. It is capable of altering its wing shape by flexing, extending, and twisting at its shoulders, elbows, wrists, and legs. The design has potential applications for environments where more traditional quadrotor drones—which have four spinning rotors—could collide into objects or people, causing damage or injury.
Created by Judy Hill
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