Robotics researchers have long been envious of flying insects, many of which are able to perform all sorts of spectacular acrobatics despite their small wings and smaller brains. Researchers at Harvard University created a robotic fly the size of a penny that is actually able to fly using a wing structure and motions based on a fly. The robofly weighs 60 milligrams (the equivalent of a few grains of rice), and beats its 1.5cm wings 120 (!) times per second. Most impressively, the actuating composite motor that powers the wings is 5 times more powerful for its weight than the muscles of a real fly. [2:53]
Now it just needs camera eyes and we can have a "fly on the wall" bugging system.
Amazing! I think a lot of the R and D that went into this is going to find it's way into a lot of other future developments!
Dave Briggs :~)
This type of microrobotic technology might have applications in artificial limbs. Its one-third of the technology needed to make replacement limbs as capable as the real thing, alongside a better interface and a denser energy store.
If they compress the software that controls this robot will that be zipping the fly?