Scientists buzzing over bee-sized drone that flaps wings

British scientists have created “bumblebee-sized” drones with flapping wings, opening up new uses for the technology.

The tiny robots fly like insects thanks to an artificial muscle system called Laza, which does away with heavy gears and motors.

It means they will be able to reach places other drones cannot. They could be used in search and rescue operations after disasters and may even help save the planet by helping plants reproduce.

Project leader Professor Jonathan Rossiter from the Bristol University team, said: “They would perform critical tasks such as plant pollination and roles such as finding people in collapsed buildings.”

Dr Tim Helps, who developed the Laza system, said it would “unlock a new class of low-cost, lightweight flapping micro-air vehicles”.