Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

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 ")

NAVER Labs Haptic Device 2.0 Robot vs. IKEA
'... the two pairs of waldoes in the screen followed in exact, simultaneous parallelism.' - Robert Heinlein, 1942.

Dyson's Secret Household Robots
'...work a human being does around a house.' - Robert Heinlein, 1956.

Festo BionicSwift Bird Robots Described In 1930
'Bird-like robots now descended from the ceiling of the theatre...' - Clarence Edward Heller, 1930.

Robotics Jobs In The Food Industry
'The efficient robot waiter of the Sky Club had cleared away the remnants of an epicurean meal.' Nat Schachter and Al Zagat, 1931.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

NAVER Labs Haptic Device 2.0 Robot vs. IKEA
'... the two pairs of waldoes in the screen followed in exact, simultaneous parallelism.'

Spaceships Should Last So Long
'THE SPACE VESSEL was traveling swiftly… For over five thousand years they had Voyaged on and on.’

Shine On, Portable Wind Turbine
'Sometimes a man has a windmill on his roof...'

Amazing Indoor Robotic Drones Mimic Dolphins and Whales
'They circled the vast audiences, dancing, twittering, chirping...'

Space Station Shutters
'The sun-quilt was a patchwork of colors and materials on the inward side, but silvered on the outward side...'

Tiny Mining - Extract Precious Industrial Minerals From Your Own Body
'Jim, I saw them reduce four of my doctors and nurses into those little cubes!'

MIT Proposes Space Bubbles To Combat Climate Change, Misses The Point Of Space Bubbles
'Fats Jordan was hanging in the center of the Big Glass Balloon, hugging his guitar to his massive black belly above his purple shorts..'

Tianjin Solar Vehicle From Hanergy (2022) Looking Like Heinlein's (1940)
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'

Study Reveals Effect Of Space Travel On The Brain
'... the brain is no longer subjected to the accustomed pull, and it expands slightly in all directions.'

Sky Cruise Nuclear Powered Flying Hotel Concept
'... the huge air-freighter Jupiter.'

The Mojo Smart Contact Lens Experience
'... the lens displays would be useless without a wearable computer to do the graphics.'

Small Town Wants 60 License Plate Readers
'the registration number which the traffic control automatically photographed as she left the controlway...'

Lightyear 0 World's First Production-Ready Solar Car
'It could maintain a steady six miles per hour...'

AI Robots Excel At Trash Sorting And Recycling
'Then they press one of these here thirteen buttons...'

Could Increased Space Rocketry Damage The Ozone Layer?
'...without burning a single hydrocarbon molecule to injure the diseased atmosphere any further.'

Dyson's Secret Household Robots
'...work a human being does around a house.'

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.