The bee flying by your side may be a robot? !

Recently, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have used an actuator with self-healing technology and bionic muscles to significantly improve the performance of aerial vehicles.robotThe elastic properties of this paper are one step closer to perfecting the self-healing robot bee. “Bug-sized Robots featuring muscle-like actuators are coming, and they’re just the beginning,” say the MIT researchers.

The concept of Robotic bees was brought to life in an episode of Netflix’s dystopian sci-fi series Black Mirror, “The Hate of the Nation,” in which thousands of robotic bees buzz from flower to flower. Buzzing, pollinating plants to compensate for declining insect populations. Though the robots of this episode ultimately betrayed their human inventors, killing more than 387,000 people by smashing artificial poisonous stingers into their victims’ heads.

If robot bees do become a reality, will they attack us humans like in the movies? Will our privacy be snooped at will? How to ensure our safety? Are robotic bees safe to fly?

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology think that we don’t need to worry about this, and think that the robot bee will be a very useful product that can help humans operate in small spaces. At present, they will not install relevant records on the robot bee device, and the robot bee will be more stable in flight than the existing aircraft. How did they do it?

New materials and new technologies support flight

In a paper published March 15, a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology showed that robotic bees could be made more robust using elastic muscle-like actuators and self-healing techniques, allowing them to maintain flight performance. From the previous research, the research focus of the robot bee is how to improve the flight controllability, collision avoidance and sustainable flight ability of the flying robot. Research has shown that honeybees can and continue to take flight after losing up to 40 percent of their wings, the kind of self-healing flight humans have been trying to emulate.

It’s their ability to continue flying after being hit and jolted that makes them such resilient fliers, so researchers at MIT have been trying to mimic that resilience, looking for ways to repair and resume flight after a punctured wing. Robot approach. The latest solution they developed uses a soft artificial muscle called a dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA), which can withstand punctures and bumps, and continue to flap the robot’s wings. The muscle-like material is made from layers of elastomer filled between electrodes. When a voltage is encountered, the electrodes squeeze the elastomer, rapidly flapping the wings.

The scientists performed two types of stability tests using the dielectric elastomer actuators, testing their self-healing properties by damaging the wings with minor and major punctures or injuries. Using the voltage used to power the wings, the robot engages in a process called self-clearing when the elastomers are slightly injured. Essentially, when a small flaw appears, the voltage burns out and disconnects the local electrodes near the flaw, which isolates it from the rest of the robot. Because of this, the rest of the robot continues to function normally.

To really see if the robotic bees were more resilient, the researchers conducted separate controlled trials. One incorporates electroluminescent particles into actuators that light up only when specific parts of the actuator work; the other is the flight posture of a robotic bee after damage. Due to the soft, muscular actuators and their self-clearing process, the flight levels of damaged bees were very similar to those of undamaged bees.

According to an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in the future, he will not only continue to study the solutions integrated into robots on artificial muscles, but also find ways to use them in other robotic systems. Same artificial muscles. But for now, the material will not be too elastic, and it can only be integrated in the robot bee.

Legal protection escorts development

At present, it is impossible for the robot bee to carry an offensive weapon on its head as described in the movie, because countries around the world have fairly clear legal regulations on artificial intelligence products to ensure that the development, use and application of artificial intelligence are fully secured in terms of safety. Assure.

Several important economies around the world have passed relevant legal documents: In December 2020, the United States passed the “National Artificial Intelligence Strategy Act”, which clarifies the responsibilities and tasks of the federal government in terms of artificial intelligence security, and requires The federal government strengthens the safety and reliability of artificial intelligence; the European Union enacted the “EU Artificial Intelligence Act” in April 2021, which stipulates the regulation and restrictions on high-risk artificial intelligence systems, including the safety of artificial intelligence systems China also passed the “Data Security Law” in June 2021, which stipulates the security protection and supervision measures for artificial intelligence data, and requires enterprises and individuals to protect data when using artificial intelligence technology. Data Security.

Under the protection of relevant laws, the development of robots must be benign and healthy. The robot bees and the various new products developed later will not affect our safety. This is the mission and task of artificial intelligence. So, in the near future, will the bee flying beside you be a robot?

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