Army-funded researchers at the Harvard Microrobotics Laboratory are popping out Harvard Monolithic Bees ("Mobees") from multi-layered, laser-cut blocks about the size of a quarter.
Inspired by pop-up books, the manufacturing process could allow for rapid production of dozens of flying robots and other electromechanical devices. The research is being published in the March edition of the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering.
In the RoboBees project, Pratheev Sreetharan and colleagues want to build bee-size robots that can fly and act autonomously as a colony. Until recently, it used a painstaking manual assembly method.
The prototype sheets consist of 18 layers of carbon fiber, titanium, brass, ceramic, adhesive sheets, and the plastic film Kapton. As seen in the vid below, the bee snaps together as it pops out of the laminate. … Read more