NASA announced on March 30, that their two teams of researchers are currently working on the design of bee-like robots which would be able to fly on the Red Planet. As these tiny robots look like bees, they named them Marsbees.

According to NASA, Marsbees are bumblebee-sized robotic flapping wing flyers, having the wings of the size of a cicada, wireless comms, and sensors that can be sent to explore Mars. But how do they work?

There are several technical innovations which might give us advantages; such as bug-like compliant wing’s use to boost a low powered design and the aerodynamics, it would help for high lifts and achieving dynamic similarities between the flight mechanism of the bio-inspired insect and the environment of Mars.

The result of tests suggests that a cicada winged bumblebee would be perfect to generate enough lift for hovering in the atmosphere of Mars. Also, the power requirements by the Marsbees will be significantly reduced by the utilizing compliant structures of the wings and an energy harvesting mechanism.

The power would also be controlled by the initial power because of the ultra-low density of Mars. A twisted spring has been placed at the root of the wings to store wasted energy temporarily and reduce the inclusive initial power at resonance.

So, what are the benefits? Well, the Marsbees are very beneficial for the Mars exploration mission. Some of them are facilitating reconfigurable sensor networks; creation of resilient systems, sample and data collection using single or a swarm of Marsbees.

What is its size? Are they huge like other rovers and satellites? Nah, not at all; as I previously said that they are bumblebee-sized robot flapping wing flyers having cicada-sized wings, NASA is planning to have the whole idea including the size.

As we know that the largest species of the bumblebees grow up to 4 centimeters long; and about the size of the cicada’s wing, they usually vary from 3 centimeters to double that length. Now we can imagine how the Marsbees could look like.

But is there any particular purpose for the Marsbees?

Well, NASA hasn’t given any particular purpose but mainly they’ll observe the Mars and will look for sign of life that the Phoenix Lander noticed during its mission.

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