RoboBee | World’s Smallest Robot That Can Fly & Swim
Robobee is a robot having size equivalent to an insect or size similar to a bee (to be more specific). We know now you may be thinking that how come robot this small can fly as well as swim, Let me tell you. In order to make this robot fly its wings are moved in up & down motion (that is known as flapping) at a very fast rate i.e. greater than 120 times per second (that is more than 7200 times in a minute). This motion of its wings generates the required thrust which lifts the device in the air. Below you can see RoboBee’s design.
One of the biggest challenge In order to make the RoboBee swim, is the “Conflicting design requirements” Say’s Leah Burrows. Also they explained the issue that “The Aerial vehicles requires large airfoils like wings or sails to generate lift whereas the underwater vehicles need to minimize surface area to reduce drag”. They solved this problem by taking cue or inspiration from a Puffin. (A species of bird).
One more challenge they have to overcome in order to make the RoboBee swim is the Surface Tension of water. “The RoboBee is so small & lightweight that it cannot break the surface tension of water”. In order to overcome this they first made the Robobee hover over water after which they momentarily switched of its wings and let it fall or crash on water which makes the device sink into water. After which the RoboBee is allowed to flap its wings at a slow rate i.e. 9 times per second. (Since water is much denser than air).
The power is supplied to Roobee is through special lightweight wire which are coated with glue in order to prevent it from short circuit in water.Till now the RobeBee can make successful transition from air to water but not in the reverse direction. Now the Scientists are working on it i.e. to generate enough lift make transition from water to air without damaging its wings. The cost of RoboBee is still not out since it is in development stages. We will let you as soon as we get the info. Stay Tuned.
Uses of RoboBee
- Weather Forecasting.
- Pollination of crops.
- Military surveillance.
- Search & Rescue.
- Traffic monitoring.
- Environment Discovery.
For More Details you can Visit Harvard’s Official Website.
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