Thursday, May 2, 2013

RoboBees: Robotic insects make first controlled flight (w/ video)

The tiny robot flaps its wings with piezoelectric actuators—strips of ceramic that expand and contract when an electric field is applied.

Thin hinges of plastic embedded within the carbon fiber body frame serve as joints, and a delicately balanced control system commands the rotational motions in the flapping-wing robot, with each wing controlled independently in real-time.