A team of Harvard University researchers collaborated to create a robotic flight project mimicking the flight patterns of bees that could transform the future of spy technology.
These robot bees could potentially have many practical uses for the future, especially for surveillance purposes. These bees would be able to inconspicuously attach themselves to nearly any surface and be able to stay there for extended periods of time monitoring and surveying an area. They also would be able to go into small spaces that scientists wouldn’t be able to go into using sensors.
As opposed to normal drones that hover in the area and waste significant amounts of energy, these robotic bees would be able to perch themselves on a designated area, which would save a considerable amount of energy as they would not be in constant flight.
Using a combination of electrostatic material and foam, the robot bee would be provided with a landing pad that could attach to multiple surfaces, even ones upside down, when responding to static electricity.
Robert Wood, a co-author in the study told Mashable in an email, “but we felt that perching on an overhang is more challenging since you have to have an adhesive force to overcome gravity.”
As long as the landing patch can stay powered up, the robotic bee would be able to perch properly.
Currently, the robotic bee is attached to an electrostatic power source to charge the plate and to control flight patterns similar to that of bees where they take flight at fast speeds but slow down and hover just before landing.
Wood says that he hopes this technology will be better developed and running without the attached power source in five to ten years.
Hopefully soon after that, these robotic bees will be ready to take flight and be used in the field.