Robert Wood of Harvard University and his colleagues created the first bot to land, then take off again. RoboBee uses an energy-saving technique to accomplish this: static electricity to stick to surfaces. Though this technique has worked for larger bots, this is the first time a small robot was able to complete this. This technology can be seen whilst rubbing a balloon on hair, the electrostatic energy keeps the RoboBee stuck in place, to say, a leaf. The “electroadhesive” patch was developed by Wood’s team, it is able to stick to almost any surface!
What does this mean for the future? Well, the possibilities are endless. The first thing that comes to mind for many is the old fly on the wall bot.. Would that be a good or bad adaption on this awesome technology?
M.A. Graule et al. Perching and takeoff of a robotic insect on overhangs using switchable electrostatic adhesion. Science. Vol. 352, May 20, 2016, p. 978. doi: 10.1126/science.aaf1092.