- It is essentially a flying machine, which can flap its wings 120 times a second and is half the size of a paperclip, as a report in The Wired describes it.
- Along with the electronics required to give RoboBee X-Wing its flight, the robot weighs 259 mg and uses 110-120 milliwatts of power using solar energy, matching the “thrust efficiency” of similarly sized insects such as bees. Much like aircraft, the robot is heavier than the air it displaces — a concept referred to as “heavier-than-air flight”. However, when objects become smaller, achieving a heavier-than-air flight becomes more complicated.
- Studying the mechanisms that insects use to flap their wings and navigate in the air is a matter of interest to biologists. Flapping-wing robots can help in addressing questions related to the evolution of flight, the mechanical basis of natural selection and environmental monitoring. Others are interested in replicating these abilities to build a new array of machines.