A group of researchers is working on an insect-sized flying robot that they believe could help with all sorts of tasks from finding gas leaks to surveying crops.

Rather than having propellers that push them like an airplane or rotors like a helicopter, these tiny robots fly around by flapping wings like an insect.

The small size of the robot flying machines makes them cheaper to produce and able to slip into tight spots that larger drones couldn’t access.

The problem with most tiny robotic insects is that they require a tether to get the power needed to operate.

A team of engineers from the University of Washington has developed a new tiny robot that needs no cord and has a brain of sorts embedded called RoboFly.

RoboFly is a bit heavier than a toothpick and gets power from a laser beam shined at an onboard circuit.

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