Robotic Fly Micro Air Vehicle

A robotic fly is fluttering upward at Harvard University this week. Robert Wood, MIT engineering professor, is working with DARPA to bring life-size robot flies into being.


(Robot Fly)

The robotic fly weighs just sixty milligrams and has a wingspan of just three centimeters. In current testing, the fly flutters upward along a wire (guidance systems are still in development).


(Robotic insect air force in the palm of your hand)

The goal of the Harvard Micro Air Vehicle project is to create autonomous vehicles capable of sustained flight on a scale of less than 10 grams and 10 centimeters in size. Biomimetic research tries to recreate insect capabilities with er-micromachined composite materials to yield stiff and lightweight links, articulated joints, and rigid exoskeletons and airframes.

Dr. Wood hopes that the team's piezoelectric actuators and flexible thorax structures will be able to provide the needed power density and wing stroke. Carbon fiber-reinforced wings provide strength and rigidity.

DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is determined to have little steerable insects one way or another. They are also trying to put reliable bio-electromechanical systems onto (or even into) real, living insects to steer them (see Hybrid Insect MEMS Sought By DARPA For Bug Army).

Their ultimate goal seems the same as that of the protagonist in The Scarab, a 1936 science fiction story by Raymond Z. Gallun. In the story, a tiny robotic insect is used as a secret spy device - literally a fly on the wall:

...the Scarab buzzed into the great workroom as any intruding insect might, and sought the security of a shadowed corner. There it studied its surroundings, transmitting to its manipulator, far away now, all that it heard through its ear microphones and saw with its minute vision tubes.
(Read more about the scarab flying insect robot)

Via Technology Review and MIT.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/20/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Autonomous Robots Navigate Like Rats
'Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted.' - Ray Bradbury, 1950.

SINTEF Robot Cleans Solar Panels
'The window cleaners, with large padded feet...' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1972.

How Rude! DARPA Wants Robots To Behave More Like Threepio
'Do I know protocol? Why, it's my primary function.' - George Lucas, 1976.

Buddy Companion Robot Your Bulbous Friend
'Nanny was built in the shape of a sphere, a large metal sphere, flattened on the bottom...' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

TALOS Exoskeleton Development Proceeding
'Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla...'

Autonomous Robots Navigate Like Rats
'Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted.'

SINTEF Robot Cleans Solar Panels
'The window cleaners, with large padded feet...'

Pangorin Restaurant Service Robots
What'll you have? Jawa juice?

Drug Creates Real Melanin Tan
I've used them all my life...

Medical Drones Hover Like Angels Near You
'The death-reversal equipment is on its way...'

SkEye Amazing Israeli Gigapixel Drone
'An eye that could not only see, but fly...'

How Rude! DARPA Wants Robots To Behave More Like Threepio
'Do I know protocol? Why, it's my primary function.'

'Liquid Light' Flows Around Corners
Light as a superfluid.

Unrolling The Filmy Materials Of Space Tech
'When unfolded and unrolled... it became a tough, gleaming film.'

Buddy Companion Robot Your Bulbous Friend
'Nanny was built in the shape of a sphere, a large metal sphere, flattened on the bottom...'

Poli-X1 Prototype Bee Pollinator
Is there anything drones can't do?

Bake in Space Bake-Off... In Space!
'A joyous condition commenced for the cook in the electric kitchen...'

DeepMind AI Baffled By Homer Simpson, Needs Human Help
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off...'

Does Earth's Middle Mantle Hold Oceans Of Water?
Al Gore, you have no idea.

Vaccine Blocks Heroin High
'You're biochemically incapable of getting off...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.