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New robot bee may soon be a spy’s secret weapon

By mashable.com

People fear robots are becoming too human, but, in reality, robots are becoming a little more bug-like every day.

A team of Harvard University researchers proved this axiom when they found the solution to extending tiny robot flight is by mimicking the way small bugs alight on walls and ceilings.

The applications for such a robot are wide-ranging, from small spying devices that can conduct surveillance missions while suspended from a ceiling to research drones that can allow scientists to take measurements where no other sensors can physically go.

For the typical drone, hovering can take just as much energy as flying. As long as the robot is in the air, it’s expending energy and running down its small battery capacity.

What researchers discovered, as reported in a new study published Thursday in the journal Science, is that tiny robots could save considerable energy if they simply landed and perched between jaunts, the way a bee or butterfly might land on the ceiling before taking off again.

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