Bots Fly To Nest

Have you ever wished to be a fly on a wall, to quietly have a birdseye view of the world?  According to many online conspiracy theories bugs are already swarming your walls. Big Brother is watching…

Researchers at Harvard have figured out a way to create a pop-up robot bug that can be constructed in minutes like children’s construction toy.  This new method will make it less expensive and more efficient to pollute the words with mechanical insects.  “The robots themselves are an interesting goal,” said Rob Wood, professor of electrical engineering at Harvard University. “But what gets us excited are the open scientific questions that we have to look into in the course of the research and the engineering challenges to get these things to work.”  According to Wood’s article in the March issue of the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, his team has been working on micro-bees for several years now.  The challenge has been the wings.

Actually Grad Students developed a process of layering carbon fibers (18), Kapton (a plastic film), titanium, brass, ceramic, and adhesive sheets in a complex, laser-cut design. Then using minuscule foldable tabs, the entire Musca domestic can be assembled within one movement allowing the three-dimensional device to stand at a mere 2.4 millimeters.  Wood is certain that using Harvard’s platform one could add high-power switching, optical systems, and other tightly integrated electro-mechanical devices used for spying and survelliance.

The idea of cyborg bugs is not novel, in fact the military has been working on a robot beetle for sometime now and the University of Michigan and Arizona have learned how to robotically takeover moths through electrical impulses.  The Harvard approach opens the door to something bigger, robots building robots without the need for pest control.


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