Tiny RoboBee flies, swims, and launches itself out of water back into the air


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/10/26/tiny-robobee-flies-swims-and.html


I finally saw all of Black Mirror. Not sure we should be encouraging these bees.


When it can fetch fresh ice cubes from the fridge, then give me a shout.



Substitute RoboBees for ants … well, you get the idea.


Pretty neat! The shown solution for allowing the drone to break through the water tension and fly again is specific to microdrones. A conventional or larger drone would have to worry more about weight than surface tension and would likely require a different solution, unless the original design also scales… though i’m not sure we’d want large drones literally exploding out of the water.

I think a powerful enough set of motors and blades might be enough to just power the drone out the water :slight_smile:


Cool. Now do a flying sub.


Good. I hate it when robot bees just end up floating there in the swimming pool.


I’ve seen a lot of these super miniature flying/swimming insect bots over the years - all pretty neat to watch, but all of them run tethered, which is fine for a university demo, but useless in the real world. The bigger problem is autonomy. I’m sure a small enough microprocessor could add the required intelligence, but I have yet to see any power source that could be miniaturized and yet still provide sufficient juice for a sufficient amount of time (> 60 secs) to be really useful.


Awesome. I had one of those as a kid and had completely forgot about it until now.


Quite frankly this kind of wonderful thing is what I come to BB for. Thanks, @Pesco!

I’ve worked on submarine launch cruise missiles in the past, and this scale is a way more interesting problem.


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