Japan's Seiko Epson Corporation has developed what
their research suggests is the world's smallest "Micro Flying Robot", or uFR.
The 8.9 gram machine was built to demonstrate the micromechatronics technology
that the company has cultivated over the years. It is also intended to allow
development of component technology applications and explore the possibilities
The uFR has the world's
highest power-to-weight ratio (according to Epson research) and includes a low
power consumption wireless module (again, according to Epson, the lowest in the
world), mid-air control technology and a centre-of-mass movement control
achieved through a linear actuator circuit.
Epson has developed and
marketed a family of microrobots known as the EMRoS Series, beginning with the
"Monsieur" model put on sale in 1993 and currently listed in the Guinness Book
of Records as the world's smallest microrobot.
EMRoS stands for Epson
Micro Robot System. The series consists of Monsieur (1 cm3 in volume;
1993); Nino (0.5 cm3, 1994); Ricordo (1 cm3; equipped with a recording and
playback function; 1995); and Rubie (1 cm3; equipped with a capricious wandering
function; 1995). All are autonomous travelling robots that chase a light