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3D Printed Micro-Drones Are A Miracle To Behold

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We cover a lot about 3D printing here at Bit Rebels. I think it’s because we feel this new technology is going to revolutionize the way we shop, repair and invent things in the near future. It seems everyone is talking about new 3D printer product launches, and they’re always more advanced upgrades that increase accuracy. We are still waiting for that next step where advanced circuitry can be 3D printed. That’s where these micro-drones come into the picture.

Researchers and inventors over at Harvard University have been developing their artificial bees for quite a while now. They are tiny micro-drones that are completely 3D printed and have insanely intricate technologies incorporated into them. Since they are not larger than your thumbnail, they can reach a wing flap frequency of up to 30 hertz. To simplify that, one could say that it’s a frequency where you can no longer see the wing’s contours.

The micro-drones can be mass produced and deployed in a rapid manner, which makes them perfect for large scale deployment. They are currently powered by an external power source, which makes them a little bit limited to where they can actually “fly.” They are 3D printed into a kind of ceramic, carbon fiber and plastic scaffolding that when done, pushes the micro-drones up, releases the lock mechanism and then releases the bee micro-drones. When you have a look at the video describing the manufacturing process, you will be amazed how advanced these micro-drones really are, despite the fact they are so small.

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Future tiers of these micro-drones will have another form of incorporated power source as the tethering to a ground-based battery makes the micro-drones too heavy to fly. What they will be used for is not yet mentioned, but you can imagine they could be used for recon missions, tight space repairs and a whole lot of other endeavors. It depends solely on the number of features you can add before the micro-drones get too heavy to be able to fly. Technology is always getting smaller, so there is no doubt these will become really useful tools for certain kind of endeavors in the future.

Harvard University’s 3D Printed Bee Micro-Drones

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Author: Richard Darell

Richard Darell is the founder and CEO of Bit Rebels, a multifaceted online news outlet that reports daily on the latest developments in technology, social media, design and everything geek. Today this media entity welcomes more than 2.5 million unique visitors per month and is considered the go to place for people in constant motion. As an Internet entrepreneur, he is dedicated to constantly trying to develop new ways to bring content faster and closer to the end user in a more streamlined way. His excitement for statistics has allowed him to further develop systems that continuously produce accurate and fast-paced analytics to better optimize the approach by which Bit Rebels presents news and content. His graphic design background has proven to be an important tool when designing new systems and features for Bit Rebels since the development of solid and stable code depends entirely on their structure and implemented procedures. Richard currently resides in Stockholm, Sweden and directs the Bit Rebels offices in both Stockholm and Atlanta. You can reach Richard at richard@bitrebels.com

2 Comments

Matt A,

April 5th, 2013

How is this 3d printing? it’s made of layers of laser-cut metal and plastic, nothing to do with how normal 3d printers work.

[Reply]

Tom

April 5th, 2013

Awesome technology!

[Reply]

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