Tiny flying lightning bug robot technology built by MIT

What does the robotic lightning bug have to do with cars and mobility? As flying cars and personal jetpacks are positioned as the next big thing in mobility, technology will need to find more compact, lighter and cheaper ways forward. These tiny flying robots called fireflies, created at MIT, could be the source of a whole new way to apply all of the above technologies to electric vehicles. And it’s easy to track and communicate with the robot.

How does MIT technology create artificial muscles for robots?

Robot Firefly
MIT Electroluminescent Robot Firefly | MIT

It started with discovering how to make electroluminescent artificial muscles. They control their wings and also emit colored lights when they fly. Ultrathin elastomer layers combined with carbon nanotube electrodes make up the muscles. They are stacked and rolled into a cylinder. Then the voltage is the cylinder. These electrodes squeeze the elastomer, causing the wings to flap.

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