X-Message-Number: 18055
From: "john grigg" <>

Subject: Professor Creates Miniature Mechanical Housefly With Medical 
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001 23:19:37 

J.R. Molloy originally shared this on the extrolist.  I found learning of 
advances in very small-scale robotics to be fascinating!  And there is a 
plan to use this tech to make a surgical bot which will be only five 
millimeters long!!  Certainly not in nanotech country, but still impressive. 
  I wonder how small the 2020 version will be? lol

>Robo-Fly Takes Off
>It's all a lot more complicated than it might seem. After all, it wasn't 
>a few years ago that researchers first figured out the precise series of 
>movements that enable a fly to fly.
>"Some of it is that there's the thought that, just by understanding the
>aerodynamics that are used in flies, there could be other applications, 
>even in large-scale devices," Fearing said. "Our Office of Naval Research
>sponsor is quite interested in thinking about flies for military 
>So there's a bunch of things you could think of in terms of surveillance, 
>that would potentially be an application for this device."
>Fearing is already thinking ahead for future applications of his research 
>the robo-fly. One is to build small robots for medical purposes.
>"These robots will be about 5 millimeters in diameter and able to do
>operations inside people using minimal invasive surgery techniques," he 
>"These are techniques where you have a tube, and on them will be a small 
>gripper or small robot wrist. So we could be able to suture or probe or do
>cutting operations. It turns out that the same technology we're developing 
>the fly will allow us to build surgical robots at this very small scale as

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