Years ago if you were to tell a friend about micro humming bird bots I am quite certain you would be written off as a sci fi geek with an over active imagination. And perhaps that imagion is what spurred the research which led to the development of a tiny robotic hummingbird. At 4 inches long this micro air vehicle or MAV can be in the air for up to 6 minutes while beating its four tiny wings at an astonishing 30 times per second. Which is in the same range as a real hummingbird!
It is controlled by infrared sensors which give the tiny bot directions to move up, down or side to side.
Engineering professor Hiroshi Liu says the ornithopter was designed and developed using bio mechanical simulation models on a super computer, leading to better optimization of the wing shape resulting in overall better performance. There are plans to to equip it with a tiny video camera, which would put it in the same category as other micro air vehicles such as the DelFly Micro.
These bots have a huge number of applications. Everything from search and rescue in in collapsed buildings and urban areas, to tracking a person or animal through the city or over open terrain.