Weekly Newswrap

This week there are stories about robot flies and one story about a robot that could attract flies if it is not careful.  For the last three days there have been these stories about flies or more specifically robotic flies.  So, this week’s newswrap just had to feature roboflies.   Two of the posts that are linked to below actually cover the same research into blowflies and how they process visual information in their tiny brains.  If scientists can figure out how the flies rapidly compute the image data with the limited neurological connections they possess, then there is a possibility of applying this to the robotic version.  The last story hopefully does not involve flies, but it is possible that if the packages are not well protected, then someone’s office might be a haven for flies.  In the post at botropolis.com, the Urban Mole, as it is dubbed, could delivered mail, books, or groceries (okay,that’s just gross.  I have to say no to food through the sewers unless it is outbound to the treatment plant!).  

You can read about these stories at the links below.  Keep that flyswatter handy!   

Flies' extremely quick eyesight may inspire ultimate vision for robots (New Kerala)

Washington, August 1 : Inspired by how the blow fly's extremely quick eyesight helps to keep it from losing orientation as it makes 'lightning-fast' movements to and fro, scientists in Germany have created an unusual research environment.

Flies' extremely quick eyesight may inspire ultimate vision for robots (New Kerala)
Sat, 01 Aug 2009 05:29:58 GMT

Micro flying robots can fly more effectively than flies (PhysOrg)

There is a long held belief among engineers and biologists that micro flying robots that fly like airplanes and helicopters consume much more energy than micro robots that fly like flies. A new study now shows that a fly wing that spins like a helicopter blade generates the same amount of lift as a flapping fly wing while consuming only half the energy to move the wing. This finding can inspire …

Micro flying robots can fly more effectively than flies (PhysOrg)
Sat, 01 Aug 2009 18:15:43 GMT

Blowflies Get Virtual Reality in Flight Simulator (Wired News)

By sticking flies in a virtual-reality flight simulator, scientists are tracking how the insects manage to process visual images more than four times faster than humans. The researchers hope their results will improve visual-processing systems for flying robots.

Blowflies Get Virtual Reality in Flight Simulator (Wired News)
Fri, 31 Jul 2009 20:49:19 GMT

Robot Delivers Packages Through Sewers | botropolis.com

Robot Delivers Packages Through Sewers As cities get more crowded, it will be more difficult for UPS and the Postal service to get around in their trucks full of packages. So what do you do? You make like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
Botropolis – http://botropolis.com/

Robot Delivers Packages Through Sewers | botropolis.com
Conner Flynn
Thu, 30 Jul 2009 22:04:01 GMT

Robotic Insect “Flies” Off Vibrations

Flying robot insects are the subject of some intense research into exactly how they are able to accomplish their aerial feats.  A researcher at Arizona State University, Michele Milano, is investigating how a robofly flies.  Check out this video of his “flying brick”.  (You need Microsoft Media Player to see this.)  Also, look at this robot fly from the Harvard Microrobotics Lab to see what started this line of research.

The goal of developing a flying robo-insect is to build the ultimate surveillance tool.  A tiny robot that looks and flies like a real insect could enter a building and take a look around without raising an alarm.  How does the robofly take to the air?  Now, this new research seems to cast doubt on whether its the robots wings or the vibrations in the strings that guide it.  Or maybe its both.  So, the point of this story is that, even now, after over 100 years of powered flight, it is not always clear what the mechanics of flying involve or even why something can fly.

CREATING a free-flying robotic insect is the dearest wish of many an engineer because such a machine would have great potential in surveillance and in seeking out trapped people in search-and-rescue situations. But a curious effect might upset their plans.

Due to vibrations similar to those generated in a plucked guitar string, a robotic insect can defy gravity and "fly" up wire tethers.

Robotic insect 'flight' may be just good vibrations
Wed, 29 Jul 2009 08:00:00 GMT

Verified by MonsterInsights