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Video: RoboBee Finally Takes Off

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apresher
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RoboBee
apresher   6/4/2013 12:43:20 PM
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Interesting project.  But 10 years in the making is a long time. The design of the RoboBee structure itself looks novel and well-designed. The need for the tether for both control and power definitely limits the possibilities in terms of potential uses.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: RoboBee
Ann R. Thryft   6/4/2013 12:52:19 PM
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Thanks, Al. The tether is temporary and a not unusual first stage characteristic of prototypes for specialized, non-industrial robot designs. 10 years is a long time, but for this kind of groundbreaking robot R&D, especially the biomimetic sort, and especially flying robots that are not based on the quadrotor, it's actually not so unusual.

apresher
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RoboBee
apresher   6/4/2013 1:00:56 PM
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Ann, Definitely a unique and innovative design. This type of detailed design work, especially given the size and weight limitations, is very impressive along with the complexity of the wing design. These robotic designs are definitely very interesting.  Thanks.

taimoortariq
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Robobee flight
taimoortariq   6/4/2013 3:36:44 PM
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It is great to see a flying bee coming to life in engineering world now, as we used to see in movies. To control any robot using flapping wings is quite a task, let alone controlling it on such a minute scale. Its good to know that they have managed to control the vertical flight at present, I can imagine the complexity in controlling the flight in the future as the dynamics of flapping wings is quite complex as compared to stationary wings, but the future seems bright. Also, I hope they do find a high energy density power source to control the actuators of the robot on such a small scale. 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Robobee flight
Ann R. Thryft   6/4/2013 3:52:41 PM
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taimoortariq, thanks for your comments. I agree, the energy storage device will be a big challenge. Maybe something useful for other applications will come out of the R&D to develop it.

warren@fourward.com
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Re: Robobee flight
warren@fourward.com   6/4/2013 6:45:01 PM
They may have just solved the problem with the bees disappearing (or returning to their home world).  We just need enough operators to go into the fields and pollinate all the flowers with these little flappy things.  The honey might taste a little oily.  Think of the employment possibilities, at less than 30 hours a week, of course- thank you Mr. President.

All that aside, I can only imagine what it took to get this far.  If they could just lose the tether.

Charles Murray
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Re: RoboBee
Charles Murray   6/4/2013 6:59:05 PM
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Cool story, Ann. I'm amazed by the flapping wing concept. The dynamics of this appear to be much different than the graceful flapping of Festo's SmartBird. Has anyone else used this concept in larger sizes?

far911
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Re: RoboBee
far911   6/5/2013 3:06:22 AM
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For some reason, this reminds me of the Kracker Jackers in The Hunger Games. Those damn things were venomous. Coming back to the topic, this is certainly an impressive feat. And now that I think of it, these little guys will help immensely in exploration by getting through hard-to-reach places.

Elizabeth M
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Re: RoboBee
Elizabeth M   6/5/2013 4:19:22 AM
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I agree with Al that 10 years is a long time in the making but they are impressive-looking robots! The tethering at this point is a bit cumbersome, I suppose, but as you point out, Ann, it's quite complex to design these type of robots, so it's still quite an accomplishment. And they just look really cool.

sonofsoil17
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Iron
Re: RoboBee
sonofsoil17   6/5/2013 12:41:15 PM
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Cool mechanical feat!  The tether is just a challange I think this group has yet to be addressed.  You don't necessarily need an onboard rechargeable battery.  If some electrical engineers get involved, you'll see things like harvesting radio signals and temperature changes to power capacitors or batteries and using the mechanical structure (maybe with modifications) for the communications and antenna, etc.  Now if we can just get this mechanical swarm flying and design it to zap mosquitos near my backyard deck! 

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