Miniature bee-drones made from pop-up-book-style fabrication

Gmoke sez, "Two grad students at Harvard have developed a method to print sheets of miniature drones, the Harvard Monolithic Bee or Mobee, that pop-up into their final form. So far they've got them to flap their titanium wings but they don't yet seem to be able to fly. Their construction technique can be used for very many other small devices too."

Pop-up Fabrication of the Harvard Monolithic Bee (Mobee)

(Thanks, Gmoke!)


  1. Brilliant. This could allow economical, mass-produced micromechanical devices. It will be interesting to see the applications- cleaning out your arteries, helping you find your keys, or homing in on your individual pheromones to kill you.

  2. awesome idea, would be cooler if they chose a machine that could actually work fully after manufacture; like basic little walkers. looks like they still need external power though so guess it dosent really matter either way.

    disappointed without a final shot of at least a few dozen of them moving around at once…

  3. A shame they couldn’t work out the origami necessary to reproduce an authentic insect wing motion…

    But as proof of concept, this is way cool. The vid was nice and informative, but it allowed me to think this jigger was three times bigger until it was nearly done… then I was like, wow.

    I can’t wait to see a useful microrobot. Wonder how durable they’d be.

  4. Annnd, to add to the troll-irony here: this project is, of course, the one that Fox’s Sean Hannity put at the very top of his list of the “102 worst ways the government is spending your tax dollars”.

  5. >mobee=monolithic bee

    “lith” means “stone.”  every definition of “monolith” or “monolithic” except one contains the word “large.”

    then, out of nowhere:  “Electronics: (of a solid-state circuit) composed of active and passive components formed in a single chip.”

    seriously, electronics people?  wtf?

    1. Monolith means one (or single) stone. As opposed to build up of multiple stones. So, yeah, single chip = mono lith.

      1.  i get that, but it negates hundreds of years of usage to mean “very large,” and also it is not made of stone.  but hey, agree to disagree.

  6. Anytime I see something like this, the most recent cool “gee-whiz” thingie of the month, I can’t help but wonder….if this is what is publicly available, can you imagine what the Pentagon has still under wraps?

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