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DARPA's Micromechanical Flying Insects (MFI)

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posted on Jan, 19 2004 @ 10:32 AM
Inspired by the elegant aerodynamics of flying insects, University of California (Berkeley) engineers are developing a flying robot that weighs than a paper clip. The micromechanical flying insect (MFI), which is funded by ONR and DARPA, could be used in search, rescue, monitoring, and reconnaissance.

DARPA has invested $2.5 million in the Berkeley project to develop robotic insects as small as a common housefly. The first major step toward getting this micromechanical flying insect (MFI) in the air was the development of Robofly, which gave researchers important insight into the mechanisms of insect flight.

Obviously in a vehicle the size of a house fly, every part must perform multiple tasks. For example, a radio antenna attached to the back of the vehicle may also act as a stabilizer for navigation. The legs could store fuel for adjustment of the vehicle's weight and balance during flight. A very efficent useage of the elements that is certainly required...

Consider This:
As nanotechnology increases in it's defense role I can see this little bit of technology being used for not only search, rescue, monitoring, and reconnaissance, but also for delivering small weapons, even assasination. What if it had a "stinger" with Ricin on it? It certainly doesn't take much of Ricin to kill someone. This could be a virtually undetectable delivery system with a deadly payload.

Thoughts anyone?


posted on Jan, 19 2004 @ 03:42 PM
Certainly intriguing, but very difficult. Possibly limited for recon use - outside the wind would blow it away, and inside it's still pretty big and noisy. But I do like the ricin-stinger!

I always liked the cockroach model for this technology - walk around when it's dark and quiet. 300 million years of non-evolution means the design works pretty well.

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