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Tiny Machines Roundup

October 8, 2010

Tiny flying machines could someday patrol for toxic substances or search for disaster survivors.

Transcript

Robobugs to the rescue. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Airplanes the size and shape of dragonflies may eventually look for survivors of a disaster, or test for toxins near a chemical spill. In research funded by the Air Force, Harvard researchers are designing and testing tiny flying machines in a variety of shapes and configurations. By imitating the wings and bodies of flying insects, they hope to create devices that could perform in many real life situations.

In other tiny tech news, scientists at Georgia Tech and the University or Washington have developed small sensors that can transmit information using a home’s electrical wiring. The sensors could simply be dropped in different parts of a house to monitor temperature, moisture and air quality. The information they collect could be part of a smart, energy efficient home system. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.