Harvard University’s microdrone can stick to objects to conserve energy during long flights
It is called Robobee and was inspired by the biology of a fly, with submillimeter-scale anatomy and two wafer-thin wings that flap at 120 times per second. It weighs 84 milligrams -less than the average bee- and can achieve vertical takeoff, hovering and steering. Most microdrones on the market can only fly 5 to 10 minutes per charge, but Robobee is capable of longer flights. An electro-adhesive patch and a shock-absorbing foam mount allow it to temporarily stick to surfaces during flight. This way, it can save energy as it requires 1000 times less power to perch than it does to hover.
This technology could expand the utility and capability of microdrones, as they could be used for distributed environmental monitoring, search-and-rescue operations, and assistance with crop pollination.