Researchers from France and Switzerlanddeveloped a soft robotic insect moving at a speed of 3 cm per second with artificial muscles and resembling a small fly. At the same time, the device is able to withstand multiple blows by a fly swatter, after which it remains operational, although it is flattened in size. Scientists said that even after the robot fly was crushed to the floor with a boot, it continued to work.
The team developed two versions of this softrobot called DEAnsect. One is in “communication” with the researchers using ultra-thin wires and has a mass of 190 mg. The second, stand-alone version of the device already weighs 780 mg. The movement of the autonomous “fly” is controlled by two photodiodes, which allows the robot to move along the surface, drawn by lines. The battery is located on the "back" of the device.
DEAnsect robot equipped with dielectricelastomeric actuators (DEA) - a thin hairy artificial muscle that provides movement of the "fly" by vibration. The movement is generated by applying and disconnecting voltage with a frequency of more than 400 times per second.
According to the developers, the artificialan insect that works on wires can carry weight five times its own weight. The next step in the study of developers is the creation of an internal communication system that allows DEAnsect flies to communicate with each other, and it is even possible to create an analogue of the swarm.