Solar-Powered RoboBee X-Wing Flies Untethered

Just this week, in this very galaxy, X-Wing achieves liftoff The first generation of robotic bees were designed to be very bee-like, featuring two flapping wings at bee scale. After all, bees can do a lot with two wings, so why can’t robots? Turns out there are a lot of reasons why little winged robots can’t do what bees do, at least for now—things like yaw control has proved to be somewhat tricky, which is one reason why less explicitly bee-like designs that use four wings instead of two are appealing.  We saw some impressive research at ICRA this year showing that yaw control with two wings is possible, but four wings have additional advantages— namely, more wings means more power for lifting more stuff. And with more lifting power, it’s possible to have a completely self-contained robot insect, even if it’s slightly weird looking. In Nature this week, researchers from Continue reading Solar-Powered RoboBee X-Wing Flies Untethered

Soft robots for all

Each year, soft robots gain new abilities. They can jump, squirm, and grip. Unlike hard robots, they can handle tomatoes without bruising the fruit, resurface unscathed after being run over by a car, and journey through radiation, disaster zones, and outer-space with few scars. Now, a new invention gives soft robots the ability to roll, undulate, sort, meter liquids, and swallow. Customizable designs could find use in labs, hospitals, and even inside the human body. More details