Miniature drone RoboBee learns to fly

The first flight robot-insect RoboBee committed in 2012. Then the time of his stay in the air was limited to a few seconds. Over the past four years, thanks to his creators – scientists from Harvard, he has noticeably excelled in the art of flying. So at the last Harvard show RoboBee demonstrated a clever trick that allows him to keep his strength and stay in working condition for a long time.

RoboBee the size of a paper clip. It is made of sheets of hydrocarbon fiber by laser cutting and weighs only about 80 mg. The movement of the wings (up to 120 strokes per second) is provided by a set of piezoelectric elements. Since we are talking only about the prototype prototype, its power is supplied by an external source via a wire.


To minimize energy costs, scientists again turned to nature for help. To do this, they studied in detail the flight features of bats, birds and butterflies. As a result, the researchers developed a method of “electrical sticking”. Something like this happens with a balloon if it is rubbed against the hair. The resulting small electrical potential must “glue” the ball to the ceiling.

Electro-sticking technology provides RoboBee the ability to hold on to overhanging horizontal surfaces as much as scientists need. In the future, the “descendants” of RoboBee will participate in search and rescue operations, monitor crops and even carry out spy missions.


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