“Biomimetic miniature flying platforms” appears to be the theme this week. Just a few days ago we saw a meant to hover in and out of buildings, and now there’s this ro-bat being put together at North Carolina State University. Here is my question: were there not enough bats in the world already?
The idea is that these micro air vehicles, or MAVs, would carry small sensors and be able to investigate, say, a radioactive or toxic area that other robots can’t access. Check out the way the bat works:
We’re using an alloy that responds to the heat from an electric current. That heat actuates micro-scale wires the size of a human hair, making them contract like ‘metal muscles.’
Yeah, I’m sure the machines will never be using these terrifying metal muscles against us when the time comes. At least these bat-things don’t have the power of flight yet; the researchers are putting together a full prototype with super-light materials (the whole thing weighs under 6g) so they can figure out just how to make that bat-flight thing work.