A "hummingbird robot" that can flutter around freely in mid-air with rapid wing movements has been unveiled by Japanese scientists.
Hiroshi Liu, the researcher at Chiba University east of Tokyo, said the robot, which weighs 2.6 grams (0.09 ounces), is equipped with a micro motor and four wings that can flap 30 times per second, reports The Independent.
It is controlled with an infrared sensor and can turn up, down, right or left.
"The next step is to make it hover to stay at one point in mid-air," Liu said.
The 200-million-yen robot may be used to help rescue people trapped in destroyed buildings, search for criminals or even operate as a probe vehicle on Mars, he said.
"First, we need to learn about effective mechanism from natural life forms, but we want to develop something to go beyond nature eventually," Liu said.