Harvard's flying robot insect can now hover and steer
Comment of the Day

May 09 2013

Commentary by David Fuller

Harvard's flying robot insect can now hover and steer

Here is the opening for this fascinating article from Gizmag
Almost since the beginning of their existence, robots have taken inspiration from one of nature's wonders: insects. Technological limitations typically prevents robots from matching the size of their many-legged muses, resulting in larger-than-life examples like Festo's BionicOpter dragonfly. In stark contrast is Harvard's RoboBee, which is the first in the world to demonstrate controlled flight by an insect-sized winged robot.


Currently the RoboBee relies on external sources for power and control since these have yet to be miniaturized, but eventually the Harvard team plans to produce self-contained units. These could then work together in artificial colonies to monitor the environment, pollinate crops, and perform search and rescue or espionage missions. And, as seen with the manufacturing process, any technological innovations developed along the way are valuable in and of themselves.

David Fuller's view We are fortunate to live during an accelerating rate of technological innovation. New and potentially significant breakthrough developments are revealed on an increasingly frequent basis.

This phenomenon is best described by Edward O Wilson, and my thanks to Tim Price for this quote:

"We have Stone Age emotions. We have medieval institutions. And we have god-like technology."

Who are the main beneficiaries of these technologies?

They are mankind; our planet, mainly via technologies which reduce pollution; developed economies which encourage and help to fund innovation; developing economies which embrace the technologies available; and most of all, corporations which develop, adopt and most efficiently utilise new technologies.

Those corporations are the Autonomies, frequently discussed, reviewed and favoured by Fullermoney.

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