Epson uFR Micro Flying Robot

Epson announced today that it has developed the uFR Micro Flying Robot, a prototype using micromechatronics (hey - and you were looking for a new-word-for-the-day) technology. The uFR will be displayed at the 2003 International Robot Exhibition in Tokyo.

(Update: See the next generation uFR-II Micro Flying Robot.)

How does it work? This brief excerpt from their press release says it all:

The uFR, which will be shown at the exhibition, causes levitation by use of contra-rotating propellers powered by an ultra-thin, ultrasonic motor with the world's highest*4 power-weight ratio and can be balanced in mid-air by means of the world's first*5 stabilizing mechanism using a linear actuator. Furthermore, the essence of micromechatronics has been brought together in high-density mounting technology to minimize the size and weight of the circuitry's control unit.

For those of you who think that teeny flying nanomachines are the coming thing, read the smaller version - aerostat monitor from Neal Stephenson's 1995 novel The Diamond Age.

And just in case you didn't think that a personal flying machine would ever be supportable, see the copter harness from Robert Heinlein's 1954 novel The Star Beast.

See their press release at Epson Develops World's Smallest Flying Microrobot.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/18/2003)

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