In a breakthrough, scientists demonstrate untethered flight of an insect-sized microscale aerial vehicle
Development of sub-gram autonomous ariel vehicles is an area of immense interest owing to their high manoeuvrability and utility for various applications like military spy-work, environment monitoring etc. However, due to the extremely small size of these mini-machines realisation of their untethered flight has always been an obstacle.To address the challenges associated with integrating onboard electronics within a limited payload capacity, these vehicles so far had to go air borne tethered to an off-board power supply and signal generator.
Now, a team of scientists from John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Wyss institute for biologically inspired engineering, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA have developed an extremely small insect-sized flapping-wing microscale aerial vehicle, which can fly without being tethered to external network. It weighs 90 mg initially, which increases to 259 mg after integrating the electronics required for untethered flight. It also has an additional payload capacity of 70 mg which enables it to carry light weight sensors, cameras and additional power supply. It consumes only about 110-120 mW power which is much lower than the other heavier than air flights.
This new invention is of great significance as it is the lightest insect-scale flying vehicle to attain sustained untethered flight. These findings are published in the journal Nature.
(NB: This is an original article by Dr. Anoop and cannot be republished without the consent of globalsciencenews.com.)