The world’s lightest wireless flying machine lifts off

Where’s the swatter? DRONES are getting ever smaller. The latest is the first insect-sized robot to take to the air without a tether delivering its power. To get their device aloft, Sawyer Fuller of the University of Washington, in Seattle, and his colleagues, who will be presenting their work at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Brisbane later this month, had to overcome three obstacles. One is that the propellers and rotors used to lift conventional aircraft are not effective at small scales, where the viscosity of air is a problem. A second is that making circuitry and motors light enough for a robot to get airborne is hard. The third is that even the best existing batteries are too heavy to power such devices. Nature’s portable power supply, fat, packs some 20 times more energy per gram than a battery can. In 2013 Dr Fuller, then at Harvard, was part of a team which overcame the first of these hurdles, making a robotic insect that weighed just 80mg. The team copied nature by

Robotic Insect Finally Flies Wirelessly

Wed 16 May 18 from Discover Magazine

RoboFly is first flying-insect micro-robot to go tetherless

You might remember RoboBee, an insect-sized robot that flies by flapping its wings. Unfortunately, though, it has to be hard-wired to a power source. Well, one of RoboBee's creators ...

Tue 15 May 18 from Gizmag

The first wireless flying robotic insect takes off

Insect-sized flying robots could help with time-consuming tasks like surveying crop growth on large farms or sniffing out gas leaks. These robots soar by fluttering tiny wings because they are ...

Tue 15 May 18 from TechXplore

Insect-size robots are breaking their tethers

Tue 15 May 18 from MIT Technology Review

Laser-Powered Robot Insect Achieves Lift Off

Everything is better with lasers, especially tiny robot insects

Tue 15 May 18 from IEEE Spectrum

Flying Robot Insect Ditches Wires, Embraces Freedom

Humanoid robots can’t take over the world alone: Insect-esque androids are a great distraction, their tiny mechanical bodies crawling or flying to divert attention from the cyborg uprising. ...

Thu 17 May 18 from Geek.com

Meet the Robofly: Wireless insect powered by lasers takes flight for the first time

Engineers at the University of Washington have revealed that the RoboFly has taken its first untethered flaps, marking the first time a wireless flying robotic insect has flown.

Wed 16 May 18 from Daily Mail

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