Researchers from MIT developed a robotic bee that is capable of perching on almost any surface and is powered by static electricity!
RoboBee is the new tiny robotic bee developed by researchers from MIT. Using static electricity to power itself, the tiny bee no bigger than a quarter and no heavier than a penny can latch onto nearly any flat surface. Researchers published a study on this week’s issue of Science saying the new perching ability could be a pivotal point for insect-sized aerial capable robots. The ability could help with observational tasks, traffic management, and search-and-rescue operations.
The tiny robotic bee only weighs 0.08 grams, which is 31 times more lighter than a penny. The robot comes with tiny wings that beat up to 120 times per second. Originally, the robot was reliant on a mini tripod on it’s base for safe landings on top of flat surfaces. However, this much newer version of the mechanism lets it stick onto the undersides of almost any surface including: leaves, glass, wood, and brick.
The perching feature, although simple, gives the robotic bee more avenues for success. Quad-rotor drones can fly for about 20 minutes or so before you need to charge them. However, this perching feature on the RoboBee allows the mechanism to save power for more prolonged usage.
Although, the the robotic bee is progressing it is still far from completion. While the RoboBee is capable of flying and accessing an alternative source of energy, it still needs a way to receive information. As of right now the robot relies on a wire attached to it for the user to input information to give the robotic bee commands. This means that in order for the bee to be more sophisticated it may need more hardware, which could compromise it’s weight and it’s flying capabilities.
Nevertheless, every technological break through only increases the speed for the arrival of the next innovation. Who knows, maybe the accidentally discovered battery that lasts 400 times longer could find it’s way to being incorporated with the new RoboBee!
Source: The Verge