Tuesday, January 31

Tiny Flying Lightning Bug Robot Technology Built By MIT

What do robotic lightning bugs have to do with cars and mobility? With flying cars and personal jetpacks positioned to be the next big thing in mobility, technology will need to discover more compact, lighter, and cheaper ways to move forward. These tiny flying robot fireflies, created at MIT, could be the root of a whole new way to apply all of the above to electric vehicles. And it becomes easy to track and communicate with the robots.

How did MIT technology create artificial muscles for robots?

MIT electroluminescent robot fireflies | MIT

This began with the discovery of how to make electroluminescent artificial muscles. They control the wings, and also emit colored light when flying. Ultrathin layers of elastomer combined with carbon nanotube electrodes make up the muscles. They are stacked and then rolled into a cylinder. Then voltage is to the cylinder. Those electrodes squeeze the elastomer, resulting in flapping wings. 

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