Watch: Robotic Spy Insects Stick to Ceiling Using Static

robot spy insect bee harvard static
Researchers at Harvard developed a bio-inspired robot that sticks to surfaces using electrostatic forces. Science

There have already been robots that can walk, robots that can fly and robots that can swim—but what about robots that can stick to ceilings?

Researchers at Harvard have taken biomimicry to a new level by inventing a small robot capable of sticking to surfaces using static.

The robotic insect—details of which were published Friday in the journal Science—uses an electrostatic landing patch to evenly distribute static electric charge when it lands.

This innovation means the microrobots can fix themselves to a vantage point using a fraction of the energy it would take to hover in the air. This could make the mini robots, which are about the size of a paperclip, useful when carrying out surveillance.