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These Fold-Up Robots Fly Just Like Ladybugs

By Popular Science

April 20, 2020

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Researchers at Seoul National University (SNU) in South Korea have built remote-controlled robots inspired by ladybugs, with wings that snap open, lock, and fold up like origami upon landing.

Kyu-Jin Cho and colleagues at SNU's Soft Robotics Research Center constructed fabric wings with artificial plastic veins, and affixed them to robotic insects previously engineered to jump or crawl.

The team tested the robots by having one leap from a roof, whip its wings open in midair, and glide down.

They threw another robot off the second floor of a building, and after gliding safely to the ground, it refolded its wings and crawled along the Earth.

Said Northeastern University roboticist Alireza Ramezani, “The way they are trying to integrate origami designs in this kind of bio-inspired robot is interesting.”

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