Inspired by the biology of a bee, researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute have created RoboBees. These manmade systems could one day perform various roles in agriculture or disaster relief. Each one measures about half the size of a paper clip, weighs less that one-tenth of a gram, and flies using artificial muscles made from materials that contract when a voltage is applied. Continue reading for another video of it flying and more information.
"The masterminding of the RoboBee was motivated by the idea to develop autonomous micro-aerial vehicles capable of self-contained, self-directed flight and of achieving coordinated behavior in large groups. To that end, the RoboBee development is broadly divided into three main components: the Body, Brain, and Colony. Body development consists of constructing robotic insects able to fly on their own with the help of a compact and seamlessly integrated power source; brain development is concerned with “smart” sensors and control electronics that mimic the eyes and antennae of a bee, and can sense and respond dynamically to the environment; the Colony’s focus is about coordinating the behavior of many independent robots so they act as an effective unit," according to the researchers.