Washington State University (WSU) researchers have created a robotic bee that flies like a real bee.

Dubbed Bee++, the robotic bee from WSU includes four wings, each of which features lightweight actuators for independently controlling the wings.

According to its developers, this design enables the robotic bee to mimic the 6 degrees of freedom actual bees are capable of. Further, Bee++ is capable of rotating and twisting — much like an actual bee — in a controlled fashion.

Source: WSUSource: WSU

With a wing flapping frequency of 100 to 160 flaps per second, the omnidirectional Bee++ is being eyed for applications such as search and rescue and artificial pollination.

Weighing 95 kg, Bee++ is only currently capable of five minutes of autonomous flight and needs to be connected to an external power source.

Bee++ is detailed in the article, High-Performance Six-DOF Flight Control of the Bee++: An Inclined-Stroke-Plane Approach, which appears in the journal IEEE Transactions on Robots.

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