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Old Apr 13, 2012, 12:58 PM
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Grad student in aeronautics
United States, GA, Atlanta
Joined Oct 2010
526 Posts
There is a lot we can learn from nature, but we have to be careful about our assumptions. I have never measured a bird, so I do not know if it has what we would call "longitudinal static stability" (which is what we are talking about when we talk about CG placement). However, do not assume a bird is statically stable because it could still undergo steady level flight using active control.

Take bipedal walking, for example. Using our definition of static stability, this motion is unstable, just like an inverted pendulum. So if I was trying to build a robot that could move around, would it be a good idea to use two legs? That depends.....
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