Boffins have already come up with mini-robots that can fly like helicopters and others that fly like insects – but the latest flying bot moves through the air rather unusually, in the same way that a jellyfish swims. Jellyfish flying robot Still from a video of the jellyfish flying bot, which can be seen here. Researchers …
Stable? I know this is only a prototype (and hats off for attempting an original method of robo-flight), but in the video that thing's wobbling more than yours truly when there's a distinct lack of blood in my alcohol stream...
How many uses are there for a 2 gram robot. Would this method be at all scalable and that 20 times a second sounds a bit fast to be called flapping.
It certainly doesn't look like that in the video.
Re: a bit fast to be called flapping.
What do hummingbirds do with /their/ wings then?
I think the "flapping" debate might just as well be applied to slower flying jellyfish; it's more about the action than the speed.
Sub-Headline of the year
Brilliant.. somebody at El reg is on top form today.
Not the first flying robot to fly like and be shaped as a jelly fish:
Although much smaller than the Festo one.
I think the issue is that it achieves this level of stability with minimal active control of the "wings."
Which means a)Smaller processor to fly the mission b)More of those processor cycles can be used for other functions.
Thumbs up, with the proviso it's still v0.1 tech.
Like a Jellyfish (on crack)
Oh, it's one of those rare four winged jellies that spazzes through the ocean you say?
At first I was strongly against this, but as I thought about it the more interesting it became. This kind of technology has the potential to be a great playing field leveller. After all, something this small can become ubiquitous; eventually it will be available to all and sundry.
I can imagine these things not only infiltrating our homes and workplaces, but police stations, secret parliamentary and G20 meetings, politicians' and judges' offices, everywhere. It will allow us to watch the watchers as narrowly as they watch us.
After all, if our leaders have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear. Right? Right?
Re: Surveillance uses
Agreed, but I'll wager that there will be a law against selling to non-government-authorized individuals.
"flying robots just the size of a centimetre"
I do hope boffins will make that come true - not for the surveillance nightmare it will create, but for the brand-new field of flying robot protection.
Because a centimer-sized flapping thing is bound to be of interest to some passing bird, who will snap a beak around it, find it inedible and spit it out - except that said robot will most likely flap a lot less well after the ordeal, not to mention that the bird might concievably die due to the mechanical monstrosity flapping in its beak.
But let's say birds don't die (beaks are rather strong), the robots will still suffer (heavy) damage.
So, will we see black/yellow-striped stealth surveillance moths ? With flight code including evading predators ? And eventual pheromone-based discouragement sprays ?
Nature is going to get confused in whole new ways with this.
External Power Supply
Why not have the wire come out of the top, then when you turn the power off it will still 'fly'!
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