For Micro Robot Insects, Four Wings May Be Better Than Two

An extra pair of wings makes robot insects much easier to control In 2013, some folks from Rob Wood’s lab at Harvard, including then-postdoc Sawyer Buckminster Fuller, published a paper in Science introducing a (mostly) controllable version RoboBee, an insect-size flying robot that could lift itself, hover, and move around a bit using two flapping wings. Since then, there have been several more generations of RoboBee, including this nutty explosive diving one. The problem with robots at this scale, and especially flying robots at this scale, is energy storage. It takes a lot of oomph to lift off of the ground and stay there, which means that high power is necessary, which means a relatively big battery to provide that power for a significant amount of time, which means a heavier robot over, which means more power is required to lift off, and you can see what the problem is. Continue reading For Micro Robot Insects, Four Wings May Be Better Than Two