Discovery.com reports: " A joint military and university research project to develop a wee winged robot modeled after a housefly got a major lift recently as scientists invented the tiny mechanical wings necessary to give the device flight.
Upon completion of the robotic insect, scheduled for next year, the faux fly likely will become the lightest weight autonomous robot in existence, weighing in at a mere tenth of a gram, or less than the weight of an average-sized paper clip.
The robofly is part of an overall study, funded by the U.S. government's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Office of Naval Research, called Controlled Biological and Biomimetic Systems. This study aims to analyze abilities that animals, sea creatures and insects have, such as sonar-detection in bats and the wall climbing expertise of geckos, for application in defense and reconnaissance missions, along with other practical uses.
For the robotic fly, researchers are duplicating the speed, maneuverability and energy efficiency of the typical housefly, according to a University of California, Berkeley, press release…
Alan Rudolph, program manager at DARPA's Defense Science Office, hopes that the robofly will incorporate principles and practices from nature that will lead to 'unmatched capabilities for National Security and Defense.'
Rudolph added, 'We have many projects like the one at Berkeley which are focused on other animals, such as lobsters, geckos, beetles and cockroaches.'…"