USC researchers unveil Bee+, a tiny four-winged robot capable of flying with the agility and poise of its real-life counterpart, weighing slightly over 0.003oz. This was made possible with bimorph actuators, cantilevers consisting of two layers of piezoelectric material with a passive layer in between. Four actuators combined weigh only half as much as bimorphs, thus reducing the wing loading and significantly improving control. Read more for another video and additional information.
“The tiny flier can follow paths, dodge obstacles, perch and land. It’s even simpler to build than There’s still much, much more work to be done before there are robotic insects in service. Bee+ flies tethered, since that saves the team from factoring a battery into the design. Size is also a concern. While the robot is only slightly larger than a penny, it’s still much larger and heavier than most real insects,” reports Engadget.