This is a slow-motion video of an amazing, man-made butterfly in flight, created by researchers Hiroto Tanaka and Isao Shimoyama. It was made to study how butterflies fly, which is different from a bird. Birds use feathering to achieve lift, but since butterflies fly without feathers and with their fore wings partially overlapping their hind wings, for them it's all about flapping.
Here's what they found with the first flights:
During the flights, the artificial butterfly's body moved up and down passively in synchronization with the flapping, and the artificial butterfly followed an undulating flight trajectory like an actual swallowtail butterfly. Without feedback control of the wing motion, the body movement is directly affected by change of aerodynamic force due to the wing deformation; the degree of deformation was determined by the wing venationI'm not sure I fully understand, but you know what? That's one awesome looking robotic butterfly. And that's good enough for me.