Meet RoboBee, World's Smallest Flying Robot

Harvard's robotic fly is about the size of a dime

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted May 3, 2013 5:40 PM CDT
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(Newser) – The Guardian calls it the "smallest flying robot in the world," DVice has it as the "world's smallest aerial drone," and USA Today settles for "electronic housefly." By whichever name, the dime-sized device by Harvard scientists is amazing. (They call it "RoboBee," for the record.) It has two tiny wings that flap 120 times per second and mimic the complicated flight of an actual insect. The scientists hope it can be applied to search-and-rescue missions or perhaps even crop pollination, among other things.

"Actually getting stable flight out of something this size is quite amazing," says a mechanical engineer at Penn State, who wasn't involved with the work. He added something else sure to thrill those concerned about privacy: "The applications are endless—you could literally be a fly on the wall."

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