What do you associate the word "robot" with? Most likely, reading this word, many people imagine the Hollywood terminator, but the reality is very different from fantasy. In recent years, engineers have been particularly interested in creating robotic insects, which, due to their small size and maneuverability, are capable of flying imperceptibly and conducting reconnaissance of territories. They have a big minus - because of the need to maintain compactness and lightness, the developers can not equip them with a heavy battery, so they have to be connected with wires to an external power source. It seems that this problem is finally solved.
For the first time to Harvard Lab researchersmanaged to create a compact robot bee RoboBee X-Wing, which runs on energy collected by tiny solar panels. According to the developers, at the moment it is the smallest and lightest robot, which is not equipped with conventional batteries and is not tied to an external battery.
The smallest robot with solar panels
The robot is 5 centimeters high and flies withfour wings with a 3.5-centimeter span, which are interconnected in pairs and arranged at right angles to each other. Panels that take sunlight and convert them into electricity are located above the wings, and all the electronics are below them. The total mass of the robot is 259 milligrams, and the construction itself without panels and electronics weighs only 90 milligrams.
Yes, this robot is the first of its kind, whoable to work only on the energy of the sun. However, he has two huge disadvantages. First, for the robot to work, the intensity of sunlight must be three times more than usual. Secondly, the robot can not be controlled, and at the moment it just flies in a circle. The developers want to solve the first problem, slightly increasing the size of the structure, but they have not done anything about the second yet.
In principle, if you give such a robot a taskto control the weather or follow a certain territory, he will perfectly cope with them even without remote control. But, apparently, the researchers cannot do without increasing the size of the hull - without doing this, they will not be able to equip the design with sensors to perform additional tasks.
Flying robots can be particularly useful.to the International Space Station. Recently, the first flight tests of the Bumble bee robot, which will be able to perform routine tasks in the future, such as checking equipment performance, were held there.
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