Robotic lightning bugs take flight


Fireflies use their luminosity for communication, to attract a partner, fend off predators, or lure prey, lighting up dark backyards on warm summer evenings. MIT scientists were also inspired by these glittering insects. They created electroluminescent soft artificial muscles for flying, insect-scale robots, taking inspiration from nature. When the robots fly, the tiny artificial muscles that drive their wings generate a coloured light.

The robots may be able to converse with one another because to this electroluminescence. These paper-clip-sized microscale robots are one step closer to flying on their own outside of the lab thanks to their ability to generate light.

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