Leif Ristroph and Stephen Childress from New York University have just released work with a new robotic ornithopter with a biomechanical design based not on traditional insects or birds, but rather on the aquatic jellyfish. As a result the researchers say they’ve solved stability problems that have plagued other machines.The tiny 10cm, 2g battery-powered prototype has four flapping wings that open and close, allowing the hovering machine to self-stabilize without additional sails and without feedback control. Their results and designs were published with the Journal of the Royal Society Interface on January 15, 2014 and are available online for free. Ristroph and Childress write, “In the future, small-scale flapping-wing aircraft may be used in applications ranging from surveillance and reconnaissance missions to traffic and air quality monitoring.”