These tiny flying robots developed at Harvard university are able of controlled flight. The power and control technology has not been developed to be so small yet so therefore meaning that it has to have a wire connected to it during flight.
RoboBee’s wings are 3 cm long which is the smallest man made wing span that has ever achieved flight. The wings can beat 120 times a second and the two are independently controlled so that the mini-robot can make controlled manoeuvres. The whole mechanism is made out of flat sheets of aluminium metal and folded and glued to make the robot. All this technology is packed into 0.08 g.
Harvard’s vision is for these robots to be able to artificially pollinate plants, implement military surveillance, to help search and rescue efforts, to aid weather predicting and to monitor traffic.
The RoboBee is a huge break though in hyper-micro robotic technology and with the aim of making these tiny creatures able to think for themselves and to develop colonizing natural bee like instincts it will continue to smash through barriers of what is know about robotics.
The wing muscles are an amazing design and work by contracting when a small magnetic field is applied. A few years ago we would of had to use a rotation of a wheel but this could have not been a useful solution in the RoboBee’s design as it would have been to big to fit with the bots frame and would take to much power to make it efficient.
I think that this is a great break though in robot technology and physical science. I can’t wait for the future.
Don’t forget to check out the RoboBee’s website.