News From the Field
Robotic Insects Make First Controlled Flight
May 2, 2013
In the very early hours of the morning, in a Harvard University robotics laboratory last summer, an insect took flight. Half the size of a paperclip and weighing less than a tenth of a gram, it leaped a few inches, hovered for a moment on fragile, flapping wings, and then sped along a preset route through the air. This demonstration of the first controlled flight of an insect-sized robot is the culmination of more than a decade's work, led by researchers at Harvard.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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