RoboFly’s flight test
November 7, 2001 | Source: Technology Review
The first limited flight of the smallest-ever flapping-wing machine has been achieved by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.
Berkeley’s RoboFly has a wingspan of just three centimeters and weighs 300 milligrams. It is modeled on a fruit fly, which flaps and rotates its wings hundreds of times per second.
The inaugural flight was just 30 centimeters and used one wing, while the robot was tethered to a metal boom. Albert Pisano, director of Berkeley’s Electronics Research Lab, says the project is “paving the way for increased understanding of microscale aerodynamics, microscale mechanical systems and microscale fabrication methods.”