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Harvard scientists just figured out how to make their robotic bee 'perch' on objects to save energy

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Wayne Konwinski
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Someday soon, robotic insects may help rescuers search for survivors in the rubble of disasters, mountain climbers communicate over long distances, and intelligence agencies perform covert surveillance.

Generally speaking, most micro aerial vehicles MAVs are only capable of flying for minutes at a time, and, since sustained flight is exhausting, it helps when they can perch up high to conserve energy.

Perching is an important ability for flying creatures throughout the animal kingdom – you can see it in birds, bats, and butterflies.

Its size sometimes makes for awkward takeoffs, but also enables the machine to perch on surfaces using electrostatic adhesion think static from a balloon which is too weak for larger MAVs to use.

Wood, professor and principal investigator of the National Science Foundation-supported RoboBee project, said in a press release.

This isn t the only remarkable robotic insect we ve seen lately.

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Wayne Konwinski
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