Birds, bats, and insects can t fly forever, and neither can microrobotic drones.
Aerial microdrones are still in the developmental stage, but they ll eventually be used to serve many valuable purposes, such as surveilling a site after a natural disaster, detecting hazardous chemicals, or scoping out rooms for police and military forces.
Any future robotic system will have to to find a way to perch from time to time in order to extend the life of a mission.
In a Science study published today, Moritz Graule and his colleagues describe a bio-inspired robot that perches using electrostatic forces.
The robot takes off and flies normally, but when the electrode patch is switched on, it can stick to almost any surface, including glass, wood, and even a leaf.
A foam mount helps it to absorb the shock on landing and prevent bounces.