Robots are getting stronger muscles and explosion-proofing

Researchers at MIT have developed a new fabrication technique for more efficient ‘muscles’ in tiny, insect-like flying bots. This comes alongside news surrounding China’s introduction of explosion-proof refuelling robots. So it looks like our future overlords are getting some strength upgrades… but on a serious note, let’s talk robotic innovation.

MIT has been working on flying insect robots, also known as diminutive drones, for ages. They work, according to the MIT News article, using soft actuators that are “like artificial muscles that rapidly flap the robot’s wings.” These soft actuators also give the bots a better chance to withstand and recover from running into obstacles.

MIT's bug robot held with tweezers

(Image credit: MIT)

The soft actuators they used to fly had always needed “much higher voltages than similarly-sized rigid actuators,” the article explains. Essentially they were unable to carry enough charge to work efficiently.

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