Michael J Elzinga

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Avoiding predators is an essential behavior in which animals must quickly transform sensory cues into evasive actions. Sensory reflexes are particularly fast in flying insects such as flies, but the means by which they evade aerial predators is not known. Using high-speed videography and automated tracking of flies in combination with aerodynamic(More)
In closed-loop systems, sensor feedback delays may have disastrous implications for performance and stability. Flies have evolved multiple specializations to reduce this latency, but the fastest feedback during flight involves a delay that is still significant on the timescale of body dynamics. We explored the effect of sensor delay on flight stability and(More)
The flight pattern of many fly species consists of straight flight segments interspersed with rapid turns called body saccades, a strategy that is thought to minimize motion blur. We analyzed the body saccades of fruit flies (Drosophila hydei), using high-speed 3D videography to track body and wing kinematics and a dynamically scaled robot to study the(More)
This paper discusses the inertia tensors of tennis rackets and their influence on the elbow swing torques in a forehand motion, the loadings transmitted to the elbow from central and eccentric impacts, and the racket acceleration responses from central and eccentric impacts. Inertia tensors of various rackets with similar mass and mass center location were(More)
The ability to regulate forward speed is an essential requirement for flying animals. Here, we use a dynamically-scaled robot to study how flapping insects adjust their wing kinematics to regulate and stabilize forward flight. The results suggest that the steady-state lift and thrust requirements at different speeds may be accomplished with quite subtle(More)
Using high-speed videography, we investigated how fruit flies compensate for unilateral wing damage, in which loss of area on one wing compromises both weight support and roll torque equilibrium. Our results show that flies control for unilateral damage by rolling their body towards the damaged wing and by adjusting the kinematics of both the intact and(More)
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