Virtual intelligent agents – ROBOTS – able to fly in order to fulfill some tasks sometimes impossible for the humans. Used for rescue operations or assisted agriculture, exploration hazardous territories, used as postal carriers, spies or even weapons, these weird little creatures made my day…
Once… The World’s Smallest Flying Microrobot
In 2003, the famous Japanese electronics corporation Seiko Epson was developing the world’s lightest helicopter – weighing only 8.6 grams (85mm in height, 136mm in diameter of rotors), a micro flying robot that amazed the planet. But this, only opened a wider road for the brighter flying, sometimes even smaller robotics that were brought to life in the last 9 years even if just as a futuristic concept.
Printed Robotic Insects
What would you say about a little flying bug entirely printed with a 3d printer using polyester films stretched over carbon fibre rods? And its weight is only 3.89 grams!!!
Inspired by motion in nature, by the flight of small insects, the researchers Lipson and Richter from Cornell University used a 3d printer to make this so tiny, but yet so complex and fragile lifeless creature.
DelFly Micro – A Robot Dragonfly
Considered to be the world’s smallest ornithopter with a weight of only 3g including an attached camera was developed by a team from Delft University in order to study the the aerodynamics of small winged vehicles. It is smaller than a real dragonfly and can be operated by computer.
A high-performance aerial microrobot inspired by nature. Developed inside the Harvard micro-robotics laboratory, the little creature combines materials as carbon-fiber and plastic along with sensitive titanium wings.
The laboratory based it’s research on biology, fluid mechanics, microsystems and microelectronics in order to develop such robots capable to participate on “rescue operations, assisted agriculture, environmental monitoring, and exploration of hazardous environments”.
6-meter Tower Builders
A 6-meter high exhibit was built entirely by flying robots inside the FRAC Centre Orléans. The name given to the art installation was “Flight Assembled Architecture” and it needed 1,500 prefabricated polystyrene foam modules to be finished. The Quadcopter Robosculptors and their tower were thought to inspire a more complex way of looking at the architectural process, to evoke it’s dynamical qualities combined with the present technologies.
FRAC Centre Orléans 02.12.2011-19.02.2012
A project by Gramazio & Kohler and Raffaello d’Andrea
In cooperation with ETH Zurich
A little creepy robot that looks and flaps its wings exactly like a real, full of life bat, capable to spy enemy bases and trace biological weapons. Less than 6 grams in weight creature, but a more than $10 million worth project in order to compensate the weak points of the micro aerial vehicles.
We have used a shape-memory metal alloy that is super-elastic for the joints. The material provides a full range of motion, but will always return to its original position – a function performed by many tiny bones, cartilage and tendons in real bats.
Exhibition Guiding Robot
A 1.5m tall, useful and cute flying robot was designed by Ronny Sauer from FORM & DRANG company in order to provide valuable information and guide the visitors inside a museum in Germany. Its simple LED “face” is animated by a funny smile to accompany the unique exhibition tour.
Bionic Air Penguin
Autonomously flying robotic penguins… hover freely through a defined air space that is monitored by ultrasound transmission stations. The penguins are at liberty to move within this space; a microcontroller gives them free will in order to explore it.
Festo combined the priciples of art, nature and science to bring to life the flying bionic penguins, unusual creatures that float into the open space.
Some talented robots….
A few autonomous flying robots, not controlled by humans are playing the instruments in order to perform a classic movie tune, the James Bond theme.
And the last, but not least, maybe someday more than just a concept, Cargonaut Flying Robot – Personal Air Courier.