Bug Blog

Robotic Insects Are Now a Reality

Scientists at Harvard’s Microbiotics Department have turned to the world of insects to better understand how to effectively build a robotic that is capable of flight.  The robots are being dubbed “Robobees”, and what makes them unique from previous insect-like robotics is the manner in which they land and stick to surfaces.

Much like the static electricity that is responsible for making a balloon stick to your head, scientist are using this same method of adhesion to make the “Robobees” stick to surfaces.  While these insect-like robots adhere to surfaces they save energy that is necessary to allow them to travel along longer distances.

But why build little insect looking robots?  Researchers are using insects as a model for these robots in order to develop a flying robot capable of exploring small areas where humans are unable to venture.  For example, natural disasters such as earthquakes may create conditions where people could be trapped in areas that are inaccessible to humans.  These tiny flying robots could be quite handy in such situations.

Can you think of any other ways these tiny insect-like robots could be used?