Harvard's Robobees Now 'Fly' Underwater

Harvard's Robobee was already amazing - at just 100 milligrams, this flapping wing micro aerial vehicle (MAV) is starting to match up with nature's own creations. Now, though, they've gone to a whole new level - or depth, as the case may be.


(Harvard Robobees video)

Yesterday at IROS, Harvard researchers presented a paper describing how they managed to get their robotic bee to swim, which Iím pretty sure is not a thing that even real bees are known for doing. With no hardware modifications at all, Harvardís RoboBee can fly through the air, crash land in the water, and turn into a little submarine. You know what that means: nowhere is safe from robot bees.

The key realization here is that swimming is actually a lot like flying: in both cases, youíre trying to propel yourself through a fluid by moving a wing (or fin) back and forth. To fly (and particularly to hover) you need to do this very quickly, but to swim, itís a much more relaxed motion. Itís fundamentally the same motion, though, and you can achieve it with the same basic hardware. In the case of RoboBee, to fly in air it flaps its wings at 120 Hz, while to swim in water it flaps its wings at just 9 Hz. Otherwise, three axis torque control is very similar, meaning that the robot can be steered around in the water, too.

The scarab flying robot insect from Raymond Z. Gallun's 1936 short story The Scarab is a very early description of a fly-sized flying robotic device:

The Scarab paused on its perch for a moment, as if to determine for itself whether it was perfectly fit for action. It was a tiny thing, scarcely more than an inch and a half in length... Its body had a metallic sheen, and its vitals were far more intricate than those of the finest watch...

Via IEEE Spectrum.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/4/2015)

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 ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Liquid Metal Shape-Changing 'Soft Robotics'
'A mimetic poly-alloy... 'What the hell does that mean?'' John Cameron, 1991.

Walmartís Autonomous Robot Bees
Are you allergic to autonomous robot bees?

Soft Robotics - Now With 3D Printed Sensors!
'A series of chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues, which permitted it to gauge to an ounce the amount of pressure necessary to snap a bone...' - Roger Zelazny, 1966.

Scaly Yet Soft Robotic Snake
Love those robotic sneks.

 

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

IBM's Grain Of Sand Computer
'Our ancestors... thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...'

Liquid Metal Shape-Changing 'Soft Robotics'
'A mimetic poly-alloy... 'What the hell does that mean?''

The Hammock Caravan And Italo Calvino's Octavia
'Now I will tell you how Octavia, the spider-web city, is made.'

Super-Resolution Microscopy Provides '4D' Views
View the magnified interior of living cells.

Have I Seen The Tesla Roadster Story Before?
'Only it wasn't a vessel. It was an automobile...'

Watch 'Do You Trust This Computer' For Free Today
Thanks for making this available, Elon.

Self-Driving Car Ticketed
This just missed making my day.

Elon Musk Tweets Versions Of Clarke's Operation Cleanup
'Fortunately, the old orbital forts were superbly equipped for this task.'

Burner Generates Temporary Phone Numbers
'Interesting phone system he's got, by the way...'

Walmartís Autonomous Robot Bees
Everyone loves bees.

EA Created AI That Taught Itself To Play Battlefield
Harmless fun for computer scientists.

Is Teleportation A Death Sentence?
'A long trail of dead, he thought, left across the stars...'

New Brain Scanner Lets You Move Around
'In Bob Arctor's living room his thousand dollar custom-quality cephscope crafted by Altec...'

Can An Entire Brain Be Simulated In A Computer?
'The miles of relays and photocells had given way to the spongy globe of platinum iridium about the size of the human brain.'

Physicists Try To Turn Light Into Matter
If E=mc squared, then... m=E/c squared!

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

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.