Home Tech Microfliers, or Flying Microchips, Are the Smallest Human-Made Flying Structures: Research

Microfliers, or Flying Microchips, Are the Smallest Human-Made Flying Structures: Research


Engineers at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, US, have designed electronic microchips that can fly. These flying microchips, or microfliers, are the size of a sand grain and can fly without any motor or engine, much like a maple leaf or air-borne seeds of plants. These are the smallest-ever human-made flying structures. The microflier’s aerodynamics is designed so that it falls in a stabilised way at a slow velocity. This ensures that it stays airborne for a longer time and disperses over a broad area. These features make it ideal for monitoring air pollution and airborne diseases. The research was published in the Nature journal.

Northwestern University’s John A. Rogers, who led the device’s development, said in a press release,  “Our goal was to add winged flight to small-scale electronic systems, with the idea that these capabilities would allow us to distribute highly functional, miniaturised electronic devices to sense the environment for contamination monitoring, population surveillance or disease tracking.”

The ideas for design were inspired by the biological world. The microflier’s movement can be compared to that of a propelling maple leaf falling from an elevation. Engineers studied the aerodynamics of a number of plant seeds. They drew the most direct inspiration from the tristellateia plant. It is a flowering vine with star-shaped bladed seeds. The blade-like structure helps the seeds to catch the wind to fall with a slow, rotating spin.

Engineers built a model with three wings. Then they studied the aerodynamics of their designs through full-scale computational modelling. The next stage involved building and testing structures in the lab.

Engineers designed the precursors of the structures in 2D and found ways to turn them into 3D models. Rogers said that the process is helpful because all existing semiconductor devices are built in planar layouts. This 2D to 3D transition will help them to use all industry-standard materials and manufacturing methods to build flat chips and then transform them into 3D shapes.

These microfliers can be packed with ultra-miniaturised technology. These include sensors, a power source to harvest ambient energy, memory storage, and an antenna to wirelessly transfer data to another device.

The microfliers are to be made of bioresorbable material that will biodegrade when they come in contact with water.


This week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, we discuss iPhone 13, new iPad and iPad mini, and Apple Watch Series 7 — and what they mean to the Indian market. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Twitter Appointed Officers in Compliance With New IT Rules, Centre Tells Delhi High Court





Source link

RELATED ARTICLES

India vs Pakistan T20 World Cup Match Today: Time, How to Watch Live

India and Pakistan are set to face off today in a Twenty20 World Cup cricket match taking place in Dubai. The anticipated...

WhatsApp Stickers in Pay Mode: How to Use

WhatsApp recently introduced a range of stickers in payments to make transacting money a fun affair. The instant messaging app even collaborated...

How to Schedule a Live Video on Instagram: Follow These Steps

Instagram recently introduced the ability to schedule livestreams. Called Live Scheduling, the feature lets you schedule your stream for up to 90...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Container Ship Fire off British Columbia Smoldering, No Longer Spreading

<!-- -->The ship is anchored several kilometers off the southern coast of Vancouver Island.Victoria, British Columbia: A container fire that broke out on...

Madhya Pradesh Man Disguised As Woman Stole Bikes From Parking Lot Of Own Gym: Cops

<!-- -->The arrest took place after the accused was identified on the CCTV footage. (Representational)Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Indore Police arrested a gym owner...

Avalanche Kills At Least 4 Climbers On Ecuador Volcano: Officials

<!-- -->Chimborazo, which rises 6,263 meters above sea level, is covered in snow and glaciers year-roundQuito, Ecuador: An avalanche Sunday on a snow-capped...

Mamata Banerjee Over Spike In Bengal Covid Cases

<!-- -->Mamata Banerjee urged everyone to follow Covid protocols during upcoming festivals (FILE)Siliguri: With a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in...

Recent Comments