Stanford University's latest project, the flying fish robot, emulates the movements and capabilities of a real flying fish. The robot can jump and glide over a greater distance than any other robot in existence and functions like a small aircraft once it's released.
The flying fish robot uses a carbon fiber spring to take off and has a pivoting wing that helps it glide once it's in the air. Gliding is often much more graceful and useful than jumping, which is why the Stanford University researchers chose the flying fish as their inspiration for the robot. Flying fish can glide and land more safely than their jumping peers. The researchers took this idea and applied it to the field of robotics.
Right now researchers are working on reducing the robot's drag and fixing its inability to take off without a human setting off the spring. Once these problems are fixed the robotics industry will be cemented as part of the future of in-flight travel.