Thursday, 11 Oct, 2012 Technology

Researchers Are Working on Brains for Tiny Flying Robots


A team of researchers from Harvard is working on a controllable micro air vehicle. Dubbed the Robobee, the tiny machine can take off under its off power. But there's still much work to do, since the robot is currently registering a large number of crashes.

In the interim, scientists from the Universities of Sheffield and Sussex in England are very close to creating the necessary artificial intelligence for tiny robots such as the one mentioned previously.

Their project aims at making a functioning simulation of a bee's brain. This will be possible in case researchers manage to map the sophisticated neural links that process the bee's senses. Afterwards the simulation could be harnessed, using a robot to carry out navigational decisions on its own.

Dr James Marshall, a computer scientist at the University of Sheffield, mentioned that due to the fact that the honey bee brain can be easier accessed because of its small size, the team hopes to come up with a way of creating an accurate and complete model that can be tested in a flying robot.

[Harvard Robobees and University of Sussex via IEEE Spectrum]

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