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 ")

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.' - Philip K. Dick

When Robots Beg For Their Lives
"Just what do you think you're doing... Dave.'

SRI MicroFactory Of Microrobots Recalls Dick's Autofac
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants... constructing something...' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.

Rolls Royce 'Cockroach-Sized' Repair Robots To Crawl Inside Engines
'As if swarms of tiny animals were busily scurrying...' - Stanislaw Lem, 1954.

 

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

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

Ancient Russian Walking Excavator Would Be Perfect RV
I don't need it to go fast, it just needs to amble along.

ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Robert Heinlein was thinking about this in 1941.

When Robots Beg For Their Lives
"Just what do you think you're doing... Dave.'

Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...'

'Snapchat Dysmorphia' Now A Thing, Say Plastic Surgeons
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'

Quiet Electric Cars Law Finalized By US Transportation Department
'... a sound tape to supply the noise'

Drone Assassin Fails To Kill Venezuelan President
'The spotter descends, and we think it searches the vicinity, looking for the victim's face...'

Stick-On Tape Speakers, As Predicted By Bruce Sterling
Flexible tape speakers, someday.

Bezos Invites You To New Life In Off-World Colonies
'A new life awaits you!'

Amazon's Rekognition System Sees Criminals In Congress
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.'

Build Your Own Space Suit For Cheap
'I'm going to pump the air from this room... so that the interior will be like airless and pressure-less space.'

CIMON Space Sidekick For Weary Astronauts
I welcome our floating robotic assistants.

SRI MicroFactory Of Microrobots Recalls Dick's Autofac
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants... constructing something...'

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.