The University of Washington research team that created the insect-inspired droids says they could be used for a range of jobs, including surveying crops and sniffing out gas leaks.
The fly-sized robots are too small to use propellers, so they work by fluttering their tiny wings. Previous attempts to create robo-insects were limited by the fact that the electronics needed to power and control their wings were too heavy for the machines to carry, so they had to be controlled through wires from the ground.
However, the engineers figured out a way to use an invisible laser beam to power the bugs.
“Before now, the concept of wireless insect-sized flying robots was science fiction. Would we ever be able to make them work without needing a wire?” asked co-author Sawyer Fuller, from the university’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. “Our new wireless RoboFly shows they’re much closer to real life.”
The engineers also added a microcontroller to its circuit to allow the robot to control its wings. “The microcontroller acts like a real fly’s brain telling wing muscles when to fire,” explained one of the researchers, Vikram Iyer. “On RoboFly, it tells the wings things like ‘flap hard now’ or ‘don’t flap.’”
The controller sends a series of pulses in rapid succession to make the wings flap forward swiftly. It also does this in reverse to make the wings flap smoothly in the other direction. The team will present its findings at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Brisbane, Australia, on May 23.
The current version of RoboFly can only take off and land, as once its out of the direct beam of the laser, it runs out of power. However, the team hopes to soon be able to steer the laser so that the robot can hover and fly around.
Future versions could be powered by tiny batteries or harvest energy from radio frequency signals that would allow them to be modified for specific tasks.
The tiny bot is the latest eerie example of scientific breakthroughs seemingly following the lead of the dystopian TV program Black Mirror. In the show, though, the insects were hacked and modified into killing machines that murdered thousands of people. Here’s hoping the RoboFly is more secure.
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You’re finishing up a blog post and want to add a photo, but you don’t have the right image. There’s a solution right in your WordPress mobile app: the Free Photo Library.
As part of our never-ending mission to improve Media in the WordPress apps, you now have access to over 40,000 free, high-quality photos (courtesy of Pexels) right from the WordPress mobile app. It’s available to every WordPress.com member.
(Did we mention that they’re free? And so are the WordPress apps, if you still haven’t downloaded one! They’re available here.)
How does it work?
To get started, make sure you’ve updated the WordPress app on your phone or tablet to the latest version (9.9). Once you’ve updated the app, you can find and add free photos to your library directly from the post and page editor, or from within the Media Library:
Adding from the Editor
Open the Editor by either creating a new post or opening an existing one. Once you’ve opened the Editor, tap the icon to open the Media Picker. You’ll see a few different options to choose from: device, camera, or WordPress media.
If you’re on Android, tap the Device Media icon ( ), and select “Choose from Free Photo Library” from the menu.
If you’re on iOS: tap the ••• icon, and select “Free Photo Library” from the options.
Next, search for a photo to add to your post. Select as many images as you’d like and tap the “Add” button on the bottom right of the screen. That’s it! The images are inserted into your post or page, and they’re also added to your Media Library seamlessly. (Note: these images will count against your site’s media storage limits.)
Adding from the Media Library
To add from your Media Library, navigate to My Sites ( ) and choose your site. From there, navigate to “Media, tap the button in the top right corner, and select “Free Photo Library” from the menu.
From here, the process is the same: select as many photos as you want and tap “Add” to put them into your post or page and your Media Library.
Give Feedback and Get Involved
The WordPress mobile apps are free and available on both iOS and Android!
If you have any questions or feedback, reach out to our in-app support team by tapping Me → Help & Support → Contact Us.
If you’re a developer and would like to contribute to the project, learn how you can get involved.
Source Article from https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2018/05/09/free-photo-library/