Created by: Robert Wood at the Harvard Microrobotics Lab
Size: 1.18 in. wingspan, weighing 0.002 lbs.
Purpose: Reconnaissance or search capabilities
The tiny aerial vehicle pictured here, made with carbon-fiber wings that flap 120 times per second, is the first insect-size robot to fly. Robotics scientist Robert Wood and the students in his lab are building numerous robots designed to mimic insects. Study topics are the movement of cockroaches and the glide of butterflies. Although that first flight of the fly took place between two wires, the goal is to make these mechanical insects fly for miles with a camera attached. The result would be something that Ian Fleming's Q would drool over. See Bloomberg Businessweek's July 29, 2010, profile of Robert Wood.
See the robotic fly in action