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Robo-bee: miniature robot perches like an insect

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Sean Biro
May 20, 2016 05:00
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Miniature flying robot that can perch and take off could be used in search and rescue, scientists say

Scientists have designed flying, insect-sized robots that can perch and launch from ceilings.

Dr Mirko Kovac, director of the Aerial Robotics Laboratory of Imperial College, London, who was not involved in this study, told BBC News that similar robots were currently being trialled in environmental monitoring and disaster-relief efforts.

Equipped with sensors, swarms of these small, relatively cheap robots, Dr Kovac explained, could alert first responders to the most intense areas of forest fires or other natural disasters.

Detaching easily from a surface was another challenge; if perching was the only goal, Mr Graule said, "we could have put a little glue on top of the robot".

To solve these problems, the researchers designed a small, flat "landing patch" with an electrostatic charge that can be switched on and off.

What the team is most excited about though are the opportunities that such minuscule component parts promise for other applications.

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Sean Biro
May 20, 2016 05:00
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