Scientists at Northwestern University have developed a robot that flies like a grain of sand, which can be called the world’s shortest flying machine.
Named the ‘microflier’, this shortest machine looks like a thin leaf from a maple tree. Floating in the air like a fan, it can obtain data on environmental pollution, pH, air density, and other types.
It can also be fitted with the finest sensors that can detect chemicals in the atmosphere and even a variety of pollutants. It was developed by Northwestern University scientist John Rogers and his colleagues, as detailed in the September 23 issue of the weekly scientific journal Nature.
Computer models were also used to select the best design for the micro flier. But the initial design is derived from the leaves of the maple tree, which are found in large numbers in the area of its origin. Roger noticed that even the smallest leaves fluttered like wings in the air. However, to improve the design of the micro flier, its wings have been specially arranged.
In this way, even the thinnest designed helicopter-like robot began to fly very well. Flying microscopic robots fall to the ground at a speed of 28 centimeters per second, which is half the speed of ordinary leaves.
Its design alone makes it a microscopic flying cot because it has no motors or circuits, but it is definitely the shortest man-made flying machine. By installing various microscopic electrical sensors on the micro flyer, it will be possible to detect epidemics, pollution, hurricanes and disasters in an area, or harmful elements in the air.
One way to do this would be to blow up hundreds of thousands of “microfibers” simultaneously or intermittently, which would collect a small amount of data that could be placed in one place to track the situation in the whole area. Its inventor, Roger, is a bio-engineer who, in the next step, wants to make it possible for all flying particles to disappear naturally. In this way, the environmental burden of the microscope helicopter will be minimized