Japanese researcher unveils 'hummingbird robot'

Dec 28, 2009
Professor Hiroshi Ryu of Japan's Chiba University displays his flying robot, which flaps its wings 30 times per second like a hummingbird, at his laboratory in Chiba city, suburban Tokyo, December 28. The robot, whose development cost has topped 200 million yen (2.1 million dollars), may be used to help rescue people trapped in destroyed buildings or search for criminals, Ryu said.

Japanese researchers said Monday they had developed a "hummingbird robot" that can flutter around freely in mid-air with rapid wing movements.

The robot, a similar size to a real hummingbird, is equipped with a micro motor and four wings that can flap 30 times per second, said Hiroshi Liu, the researcher at Chiba University east of Tokyo.

It is controlled with an and can turn up, down, right or left.

The robot, which weighs 2.6 grams (0.09 ounces), can fly in a figure of eight more stably than a helicopter with rotor blades, said Liu, 46, who specialises in developing robots based on living creatures.

"The next step is to make it hover to stay at one point in mid-air," Liu said, adding that he also plans to equip it with a micro camera by March 2011.

The , whose development cost has topped 200 million yen (2.1 million dollars), may be used to help rescue people trapped in destroyed buildings, search for criminals or even operate as a probe vehicle on Mars, he said.

"First, we need to learn about effective mechanism from natural life forms, but we want to develop something to go beyond nature eventually," Liu said.

Explore further: Osaka team fine-tunes quadruped robot Pneupard (w/ Video)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Micro flying robots can fly more effectively than flies

Aug 01, 2009

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 ...

Cyclogyro Flying Robot Improves its Angles of Attack

Jan 22, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- In the past few decades, researchers have been investigating a variety of flying machines. Most studies have focused on improving the flying performance of standard flying mechanisms, rather ...

Recommended for you

Robot scouts rooms people can't enter

Apr 23, 2014

(Phys.org) —Firefighters, police officers and military personnel are often required to enter rooms with little information about what dangers might lie behind the door. A group of engineering students at ...

A robot dives into search for Malaysian Airlines flight

Apr 18, 2014

In the hunt for signs of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370—which disappeared on March 8 after deviating for unknown reasons from its scheduled flight path—all eyes today turn to a company that got its start ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Parsec
not rated yet Dec 28, 2009
I wonder what the power source for this robot is? A real hummingbird consumes several times its weight in nector every day to fly like it does. A flight time of 60 sec is interesting, but hardly useful.
benjaminwright
1 / 5 (1) Dec 30, 2009
As robots like this mechanical hummingbird become common in public, existing privacy laws will restrict the ability of the machines to make audio recordings of human conversations (and possibly other recordings about personally identifiable humans). The law of robots will be challenging. Robot designers may react by making the machines record lots of other (non-audio) stuff about each machine's encounter with humans. The records will no doubt include detection of chemicals and odors associated with individual humans. --Ben http://hack-igati...rds.html
vit
not rated yet Jan 03, 2010
As robots like this mechanical hummingbird become common in public, existing privacy laws will restrict the ability of the machines to make audio recordings of human conversations (and possibly other recordings about personally identifiable humans). The law of robots will be challenging. Robot designers may react by making the machines record lots of other (non-audio) stuff about each machine's encounter with humans. The records will no doubt include detection of chemicals and odors associated with individual humans. --Ben http://hack-igati...rds.html


Makes me want to become a fly-swatter salesman. Big, big fly-swatters.

More news stories

A 'quantum leap' in encryption technology

Toshiba Research Europe, BT, ADVA Optical Networking and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the UK's National Measurement Institute, today announced the first successful trial of Quantum Key Distribution ...