HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog

Video: RoboBee Finally Takes Off

NO RATINGS
1 saves
View Comments: Threaded|Newest First|Oldest First
apresher
User Rank
Blogger
RoboBee
apresher   6/4/2013 12:43:20 PM
NO RATINGS
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
User Rank
Blogger
Re: RoboBee
Ann R. Thryft   6/4/2013 12:52:19 PM
NO RATINGS
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.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: RoboBee
Charles Murray   6/4/2013 6:59:05 PM
NO RATINGS
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
User Rank
Silver
Re: RoboBee
far911   6/5/2013 3:06:22 AM
NO RATINGS
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.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: RoboBee
Ann R. Thryft   6/5/2013 1:19:04 PM
NO RATINGS
far911 nailed one of the apps not really mentioned by the researchers, but implied by some statements on the RoboBee project page: surveillance, as well as search-and-rescue.

far911
User Rank
Silver
Re: RoboBee
far911   6/20/2013 7:03:25 AM
NO RATINGS
@Ann - Not only sureillance or search-and-rescue but also discovery of natural resource pools, capturing rare footage, and exploration done by chanels like National Geographic. 

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: RoboBee
Ann R. Thryft   6/20/2013 12:14:52 PM
NO RATINGS
far911, thanks, those are good additions to the list. See other flying robots that do those things and more in this recent slideshow: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=264353

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: RoboBee
Ann R. Thryft   6/5/2013 1:17:12 PM
NO RATINGS
Chuck, the flapping wing thing is insanely hard to do. I'm putting together another flying robot slideshow, and reading more about the R&D involved. It just doesn't happen quickly, no matter who's worked on it.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: RoboBee
Elizabeth M   6/5/2013 4:19:22 AM
NO RATINGS
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
User Rank
Iron
Re: RoboBee
sonofsoil17   6/5/2013 12:41:15 PM
NO RATINGS
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! 

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: RoboBee
Ann R. Thryft   6/6/2013 1:02:57 PM
NO RATINGS
sonofsoil17, that's an interesting idea about using energy harvesting for RoboBee instead of onboard power storage. I'm pretty sure electrical engineers are already on this research team and they may be working on that idea already.

apresher
User Rank
Blogger
RoboBee
apresher   6/4/2013 1:00:56 PM
NO RATINGS
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
User Rank
Gold
Robobee flight
taimoortariq   6/4/2013 3:36:44 PM
NO RATINGS
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
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Robobee flight
Ann R. Thryft   6/4/2013 3:52:41 PM
NO RATINGS
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
User Rank
Platinum
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.

Partner Zone
More Blogs
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
A soundproofing invention called Acoustiblok recently won a television challenge to silence an air horn with only a fraction of an inch of polymer material.
Robots came into their own in the 1970s. Gone were the low-budget black-and-white B movies. Now robots roamed in full-color feature films with A-list actors.
Major global metropolitan areas are implementing a vast number of technology, energy, transportation, and Internet projects to make the metropolis a friendlier, greener, safer, and more sustainable place to be.
Here’s a look at robots depicted in movies and on TV during the 1950s and 1960s. We tried to collect the classics here, omitting the scores of forgettable B movies such as Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine. Stay tuned for slideshows of robot stars from later decades.
Design News Webinar Series
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Aug 4 - 8, Introduction to Linux Device Drivers
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: August 12 - 14
Sponsored by igus
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service