New research: “Collision resilient insect-scale soft-actuated aerial robots with high agility” is published in IEEE Transaction on Robotics

We developed a new class of soft aerial robots with unprecedented dexterity and resilience. This new 0.6g soft aerial robot has a large lift-to-weight-ratio (2.1:1). It can recover from in-flight collisions and perform acrobatic aerial maneuvers such as a somersault in 0.16 s. This work demonstrates for the first time that insect-scale aerial robots can achieve insect-like flight capabilities. A detailed description of our work can be found in MIT news.


New research: “Controlled flight of a microrobot powered by soft artificial muscles” is published in Nature

We have developed the first heavier-than-air aerial robot powered by dielectric elastomer actuators (DEA) and demonstrated controlled hovering flight. Each robot module weighs 160 mg, and flaps at approximately 300 Hz to generate sufficient lift forces. The full paper can be accessed through Nature’s webpage:Controlled flight of a microrobot powered by soft artificial muscles.

Selected media coverage can be found here: RoboBee powered by soft muscles

Invited talk: Insect-scale robots: functions and future applications

In a 5-minutes talk at the MIT media lab, Professor Chen briefly introduced the functions and potential applications of insect-scale robots.


Professor Chen was selected on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, in the category of Science. For more information, please check out the link below:

Forbes 30 Under 30, Science category

Forbes: Bite-Sized Robots Could Transform Natural Disaster Search And Rescue

Reuters: Robotic cockroach can walk on land and swim underwater

BBC News: Could a robotic cockroach aid rescues?

Popular Mechanics: Harvard Robotic Cockroach Walks Underwater

Harvard SEAS: Next-generation robotic cockroach can explore underwater environments


Science News: These ‘robo-bees’ can dive, swim, and jump like dolphins

Harvard Gazette: New RoboBee flies, dives, swims and explodes out of water

BBC: The robot that can swim and fly and other tech news

CBC: Insect-sized robot can both fly and swim

Science Friday: Meet The Insect Bot That Uses Water To Fly

Boston Globe: Harvard researchers develop robotic bee that can fly, dive into water, and pop out again

Forbes: New RoboBee Can Fly and Dive Into Water – The Microbot Equivalent Of Smashing Through Brick Walls

Oceans Deeply: Sticky Tech: Robots That Mimic Remoras Could Expand Ocean Exploration

Science News: This robotic ‘remora’ can cling to objects with a force 340 times its own weight


Business Insider: The 19 most important things that happened in robotics this year


IEEE Spectrum: Harvard’s Robot Bee Is Now Also a Submarine

Harvard Gazette: The tiny flying submarine

BBC News: Robotic Bee copies puffins to fly and swim

Fox News: Harvard engineers develop swimming ‘RoboBee’

Yahoo News: Harvard researchers create insect-sized robot that both fly and swim

Engadget: Robotic bees outdo their organic rivals by swimming 2015