A new robotic “bee” can fly, dive, swim and leap out of the water, and it’s totally adorable to boot.
“RoboBee” is an aerial-to-aquatic robot that weighs just six-thousandths of an ounce (175 milligrams). These bots were first reported in 2014 in the journal Bioinspiration and Biomimetics, when — after 12 years of trying — Harvard roboticists finally got the tiny, fly-inspired devices to flutter. Since then, they’ve been adding functions. Now, they’ve made a robot that can swim and fly.“This is the first microrobot capable of repeatedly moving in and through complex environments,” Yufeng Chen, who co-authored a paper describing the new technology while a graduate student at Harvard University. “We designed new mechanisms that allow the vehicle to directly transition from water to air, something that is beyond what nature can achieve in the insect world.” [7 Cool Animal-Inspired Technologies]