Monday, January 17, 2022

RoboBee, a revolutionary micro robot from Harvard, can fly, dive, swim, and jump in water.


RoboBees that can fly, adhere to walls, and plunge into water have been seen. Researchers at the Wyss Institute and Harvard SEAS have designed a hybrid robot that can fly, dive into water, swim, exit the water, and land safely, all while being inspired by insects.

RoboBee, a new hybrid, can fly, dive into water, swim, propel itself out of the water, and land safely. The RoboBee has four buoyant chambers and a central gas collection chamber. An electrolytic plate in the chamber transforms water into oxyhydrogen, a flammable gas fuel, once the RoboBee reaches the surface.

This new RoboBee, which is 1,000 times lighter than any prior aerial-aquatic robot, might be utilized for a variety of tasks, including search and rescue, environmental monitoring, and biological research.

Science Robotics published an article about the study. It was led by a group of researchers from Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).

"This is the first microrobot capable of moving repeatedly within and in complicated surroundings," says Yufeng Chen, Ph.D., a postdoctoral scholar at the Wyss Institute who was a graduate student in the Microrobotics Lab at SEAS at the time of the research and the paper's first author. "We created novel systems that allow the vehicle to transition directly from water to air, which is something that nature cannot do in the insect world."

The surrounding water is collected in a flotation chamber once the robot reaches the water's surface. An electrolytic plate inside the chamber created oxyhydrogen. The robot's buoyancy is boosted as a result, allowing it to thrust its wings out of the water. When the robot's wings begin to flap, the surface tension of the water maintains it upright. The oxyhydrogen fuel is then ignited by a Sparker, giving the robot a boost and allowing it to jump from the water's surface. Environmental exploration and search and rescue missions could both benefit from hybrid aerial-aquatic robots.

Another issue is that designing a millimeter-sized robot that can move in and out of water is difficult. For starters, because water is 1,000 times denser than air, the flapping speed of the robot's wing will differ significantly between the two mediums. The RoboBee cannot fly if the flapping frequency is too low. The wing will break off in the water if it is too high.

The researchers discovered Goldilocks' combination of wing size and flapping speed by integrating theoretical models and experimental data, expanding the design to allow the bee to fly in both air and water repeatedly. The robot moves its wings from 220 to 300 hertz in the air and from nine to thirteen hertz in the water using this multimodal locomotive technique.


Article Author Gerluxe Image: qz

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