The expanding world of science and tech is continuing to impress, and behold, it’s happened again. A radical laser-powered robot fly the size of a toothpick, yes, a toothpick, can increase the finding of survivors in disasters and sniff out gas leaks!
Although insect-sized flying robots are not entirely new to the market, none have been able to work as miraculously as the RoboFly. Engineers at the University of Washington have created the RoboFly, making it the first ever-wireless robotic insect that has been able to fly.
The creator behind the massive project hopes to have swarms of RoboFlys roaming the skies within the next five years. The innovative piece of technology weighs only slightly more than a toothpick and is powered by an onboard circuit that is able to convert laser energy into electricity, allowing it to operate its wings. Past robotic insects were unable to fly due to the weights of the wings, which were connected by wires. However, in the case of the Robofly, its size and weight enable it to fly completely solo.
It is expected that a fully autonomous RoboFly can be created in a few years from now, where it can navigate and complete tasks on its own. In addition, it is set to be able to survey crop growth on large farms and sniff out gas leaks. Fuller, the RoboFly creator, mentioned how: “I’d really like to make on that finds methane leaks”, he said. “You could buy a suitcase full of them, open it up, and they would fly around your building looking for plumes of gas coming out of leaky pipes”, Fuller said.
Not only would it save the time and manpower of finding various gas leaks, but it can also easily save lives all while reducing greenhouse emissions. As if that weren’t enough, the RoboFly can also be used in life-saving search and rescue missions. They would be able to fly into less accessible areas where drones cannot fit, and are incredibly cheap to make, according to DailyMail. With an array of advantages, it appears that the RoboFly is seriously taking the world of tech by storm!