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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Laser Power Insect Robotics

Having very small flying robots that can be tasked to jobs, alone or in groups,  will change many things.  We examined how tasks and services might be solved by such methods.  There continue to be updates.

Laser-Powered Robot Insect Achieves Lift Off
Everything is better with lasers, especially tiny robot insects    By Evan Ackerman

For robots of all sizes, power is a fundamental problem. Any robot that moves is constrained in one way or another by power supply, whether it’s relying on carrying around heavy batteries, combustion engines, fuel cells, or anything else. It’s particularly tricky to manage power as your robot gets smaller, since it’s much more straightforward to scale these things up rather than down—and for really tiny robots (with masses in the hundreds of milligrams range), especially those that demand a lot of power, there really isn’t a good solution. In practice, this means that on the scale of small insects robots often depend on tethers for power, which isn’t ideal for making them practical in the long term.

At the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Brisbane, Australia, next week, roboticists from the University of Washington, in Seattle, will present RoboFly, a laser-powered insect-sized flapping wing robot that performs the first (very brief) untethered flight of a robot at such a small scale. ...  "

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