This Dragonfly Robot Can Avoid Obstacles All by Itself, Making It Harder to Destroy in Inevitable Robot Uprising

Please stop making robots harder to kill.
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Pictured above is the DelFly Explorer, a small, super-lightweight micro air vehicle (MAV), built by TU Delft. The latest innovation of the DelFly is an onboard stereo camera system that measures distances to objects, allowing DelFly to avoid objects on its own. At 20 grams, we won’t admit to being afraid of the DelFly, but put enough of them in a room not bumping into things, and we’ll be pretty freaked out.

What’s fascinating about the DelFly isn’t that it can avoid objects, fly, or give us nightmare. Lots of bots can do that, but it’s impressive largely because it’s doing all those things autonomously. Not only isn’t there any human control, but all the controls are built into the DelFly itself courtesy of a tiny computer. That’s all in a package that weighs as much as a few sheets of paper.

You can see the DelFly in action in this video that also features Micro Air Vehicle Lab Assistant Professor and initials enthusiast Dr. G. C. H. E. De Croon explaining it:

They compare the DelFly to a dragonfly, because it’s the closest natural analog, but if they upgrade it with a tiny speaker and have it follow you around shouting “Hey! Listen!” for no reason, they could call it Navi and sell it to Zelda enthusiasts.

(via Phys Org, image via TU Delft)

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Glen Tickle
Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.