#video | The lightweight robotic insect powered by solar energy

What you associate the word “robot”? Most likely, reading a word many people imagine Hollywood’s terminator, but the reality is very different from fantasy. In recent years, engineers are particularly interested in the creation of robotic insects that because of their small size and maneuverability, is able to quietly fly and carry out exploration areas. They have a big disadvantage — because of the need to maintain the compactness and ease, developers can equip their heavy battery, so they have to connect wires to an external power source. I think this problem is finally solved.

Researchers from the Laboratory of Harvard for the first time managed to create a compact robot bee RoboBee X-Wing that runs on energy collected by tiny solar panels. According to the developers, at the moment he is the smallest and lightest robot which is not equipped with conventional batteries, and are not tied by wires to an external battery.

The little robot with solar panels

Robot with a height of 5 centimeters flies with four wings with a 3.5-centimeter scale, which are interconnected in pairs and at right angles to each other. Panels, which take sunlight and convert them into electricity, placed over the wings and all the electronics underneath. The total mass of the robot is 259 milligrams, and the structure without panels and electronics weighs 90 milligrams.

Yes, this robot is the first of its kind, who is able to work only on the energy of the sun. However, it has two huge cons. First, the robot was able to work, the intensity of sunlight needs to be three times more than usual. Second, the robot cannot be controlled, and at the moment it just flies in a circle. Developers want to solve the first problem by slightly increasing the size of the design, but about the second yet did nothing.

In fact, if you give a robot a task to control the weather or to follow a territory, he’ll do fine with them even without the remote control. But without increasing the size of the case, the researchers apparently did not do — not to do so, they will not be able to equip design sensors to perform additional tasks.

Special favor flying robots can bring to the International space station. Recently there have been the first flight tests of the robot-bees “Bumble,” which in the future will be able to perform routine tasks, such as checking equipment performance.

We recommend you to read:

Aboard the ISS completed the first flight tests of the robot-bees “Bumble”

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