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Top Story

New RoboBee flies, dives, swims and explodes out of the water

We’ve seen RoboBees that can fly, stick to walls, and dive into water. Now, get ready for a hybrid RoboBee that can fly, dive into water, swim, propel itself back out of water and safely land. New floating devices allow this multipurpose air-water microrobot to stabilize on the water’s surface before an internal combustion system ignites to propel it back into the air. This latest-generation RoboBee, which is 1,000 times lighter than any previous aerial-to-aquatic robot, could be used for numerous applications from search-and-rescue operations to environmental monitoring and biological studies. By combining theoretical modeling and experimental data, the researchers found just the right combination of wing size and flapping rate, scaling the design to allow the bee to operate repeatedly in both air and water.

Visit Website | Image credit: Yufeng Chen/Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences