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   Undertoad  Tuesday Jul 31 12:07 PM

July 31, 2007: Mechanical housefly



xoB, who also found yesterday's image but got no credit for it (belated thanks), sends along this item from Technology Review. Harvard researchers have developed the world's first mechanical housefly.

Quote:
A life-size, robotic fly has taken flight at Harvard University. Weighing only 60 milligrams, with a wingspan of three centimeters, the tiny robot's movements are modeled on those of a real fly. While much work remains to be done on the mechanical insect, the researchers say that such small flying machines could one day be used as spies, or for detecting harmful chemicals.

"Nature makes the world's best fliers," says Robert Wood, leader of Harvard's robotic-fly project and a professor at the university's school of engineering and applied sciences.

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is funding Wood's research in the hope that it will lead to stealth surveillance robots for the battlefield and urban environments. The robot's small size and fly-like appearance are critical to such missions. "You probably wouldn't notice a fly in the room, but you certainly would notice a hawk," Wood says.
Luckily the same simple aluminum foil used to combat government mind rays can be used against this beast. Just attach the foil to the end of your fly-swatter, and bam!


yesman065  Tuesday Jul 31 12:20 PM

That is awesome - "Will it be available in time for christmas? I wanna fly it around my kids heads in the morning.



Uisge Beatha  Tuesday Jul 31 12:20 PM

Let's see, we go from technology fighting natural pests to technology creating them. Perhaps the next logical step is for nature to fight our pests. Wouldn't it be funny (yet sad in terms of the wasted expense) for a mechanical insect spy to be slammed out of action by an animal's tail?



Flint  Tuesday Jul 31 12:35 PM

Quote:
...researchers say that such small flying machines could one day be used as spies, or for detecting harmful chemicals.
Real, live wasps are also being trained as chemical detectors (admittedly, not while in flight).


spudcon  Tuesday Jul 31 01:53 PM

I think I saw several of those spying on my dog's poop.



xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Jul 31 03:27 PM

What have you been feeding that dog... or is this a case of the government stirring up shit?



rkzenrage  Tuesday Jul 31 07:04 PM

This is just what all the paranoid skitzos in the world need... oh yeah... "they have robot houseflies with cameras on them... and probably CHEMICALS TOO!!!" oh yeah... just what they fucking need... oh... wait....



Weird Harold  Wednesday Aug 1 06:36 AM

So somebody woke up one morning, and said to themselves, "I don't think there are enough flies in the world. Let's make more."

We are getting new window installed in our house, and most of the world's fly population is in my house right now. I wonder how many of them are spying on me right now, and reporting my subversive behavior.



Uisge Beatha  Wednesday Aug 1 08:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weird Harold
I wonder how many of them are spying on me right now, and reporting my subversive behavior.
Dammit! Bravo-1-9, we have been made. Recall the surveillance drones. Over.








Sheldonrs  Wednesday Aug 1 02:06 PM

Can you catch robot fish with it?



dar512  Thursday Aug 2 10:36 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheldonrs View Post
Can you catch robot fish with it?
<obscure Philip K. Dick reference>No, but they can be eaten by mechanical frogs.</Dick>


TheMercenary  Thursday Aug 2 01:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uisge Beatha View Post
Dammit! Bravo-1-9, we have been made. Recall the surveillance drones. Over.





I do believe that subject is being explored.


Anada  Tuesday Aug 7 05:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weird Harold View Post
So somebody woke up one morning, and said to themselves, "I don't think there are enough flies in the world. Let's make more."

We are getting new window installed in our house, and most of the world's fly population is in my house right now. I wonder how many of them are spying on me right now, and reporting my subversive behavior.

That is exactly what I thought when I saw the title of this thread... maybe scientists are getting ready for when finally all flies die and bees and wasps...and they need to use robots to carry polen from flower to flower...


rkzenrage  Tuesday Aug 7 06:06 AM

Spy-fly is watching you masturbate.



rkzenrage  Tuesday Aug 7 06:08 AM

Spy-fly's servos are clogged with... *crash*



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