Some winged robots are designed to work in swarms, such as the Monolithic Bee, or MoBee, from Harvard University's Microrobotics Lab. This lab focuses on creating high-performance aerial and ambulatory microrobots and soft robots inspired by biological models. The robots can be used for exploring hazardous environments, search-and-rescue operations, environmental monitoring, and assisting agriculture. The MoBee, which is about the size of a housefly, is made from custom hardware. It is part of the RoboBees Project funded by the National Science Foundation for mimicking the behavior of a bee colony and adapting to changing environments. (Source: Harvard University)
Great slide show. I wish there was video here too. Some of these must be very elegant in action. Thanks for the slide show.
Biomimicry in design and engineering has been around forever and proves to lead to some of the most innovative and evenually mundane products. We all know about velcro. I like to imagine that the wheel was invented after observing a pill bug (armadilldiidae).
I find the whole practice of biomimicky fascinating and these bug/worm robots really are a testament to how taking a page from nature can really get the innovation juices flowing. I noticed that most of these robot projects hail from universities. Makes sense to get student brain power in the mix. I'm wondering, though, how many of these are purely research efforts vs. potential for commercialized products.