These new drones can flap nearly 500 times per second , giving the drone resistance similar to that of an insect.
It can also perform aggressive maneuvers like somersaults in the air. "And it weighs only 0.6 grams , about the mass of a large bumblebee.
These small aerial robots the size of an insect, and developed by a research team led at MIT . They are powered by a new class of smooth actuator , which allows them to withstand the physical vicissitudes of flight in the real world.
Soft actuators are made of thin rubber cylinders coated with carbon nanotubes. When voltage is applied to the carbon nanotubes, they produce an electrostatic force that squeezes and lengthens the rubber cylinder. Repeated lengthening and contraction make the drone’s wings move quickly.
These robots are one day expected to help humans by pollinating crops or conducting machinery inspections in tight spaces .