With drones, obviously if you can make them really small they would be inconspicuous and would not be noticed by anyone. However, the downside to small drones is that you would have to sacrifice certain things, like ditching the motor which in turn could make it less effective compared to a drone with a motor.

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However, thanks to the work of researchers at Harvard, MIT, and the City University of Hong Kong, they have come up with a drone design inspired by insects that seem to be just as effective. This is due to the use of soft actuators made from rubber cylinders and coated with carbon nanotubes.

With these nanotubes, when they are subject to voltage, they can then squeeze and stretch the rubber to help these insect-like drones beat their wings and fly. These drones are tiny but that’s kind of the point. By making them so small, they will be able to fit into tight spaces that a regular drone cannot. It will also make them somewhat collision resistant as they can withstand some impact.

However, these drones are far from perfect in their current form. The current design requires that the drones be tethered to a power source which in turn kind of limits what they can be used for, but they do show a lot of promise and the researchers are hoping that these drones could eventually be used to inspect machinery or even artificially pollinate crops.

Filed in Robots. Read more about and . Source: news.mit.edu

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