For more than ten years, Harvard University After hard work, it is finally here: their insect robot flies to the sky. A robot weighing less than one tenth of a gram will undoubtedly become the smallest flying robot in the world.
“Literally, I have tried for twelve years,” Robert J. Wood said of the small robot flying to the sky for the first time. “This is really thanks to the laboratory’s latest breakthroughs in manufacturing, materials and design, we were able to try. And it worked! It was actually very good.
Small robots are inspired by flies, and their wings can be folded about 120 times per second. The height of the robot is about half the height of a paper clip, and it has almost no weight.
Many obstacles must be overcome to develop robots. Wood said: “We have to solve all problems from the beginning.” “When we make one component work and start working on the next component, five new problems appear.” Take the “muscles” of the robot’s moving wings as an example. Researcher Kevin Y. Ma explained: “Large robots work with electromagnetic motors, but at such a small scale, you have to come up with an alternative, and there is currently no. Therefore, it must be developed. The robot is equipped with a pressure Electric drives: They have materials that shrink or stretch under the action of electricity.
Robots are also created in a special way. Considering everything, it is composed of several layers of materials, which have been cut to a certain size with the help of a laser, and then stacked to form a thin and flat plate from which the robot can be lifted like a pop-up window The images in the children’s books are the same (see also the video below). The biggest advantage of this method is that prototypes can be built very quickly, so these prototypes can also be tested more rigorously.
But what exactly can these robots called RoboBees do? Researchers emphasize that the possibilities are limitless. Small robots can be used not only to study pollutants in the air, but also to detect people in disaster areas. Robot-based technology can also be used for various purposes. For example, pop-up manufacturing can sometimes be used to develop very complex medical devices.
At the same time, researchers continue to improve the robot. For example, robots are currently controlled by an external computer, but in the future they will have to be equipped with a small computer so that they can become more independent. A way to provide the robot with its own energy is also considered. Now, another wire is connected to the robot to provide electricity. The challenge is to develop a micro fuel cell that can store energy.