Marsbee is a robotic flapping wing flyers. Its size is as the same as bumblebee size with cicada sized wings. The Marsbee is combined with sensors and wireless communication devices. The mobile base can act as a recharging station and main communication center. Why NASA wants to send Marsbee to the Red Planet. NASA explains:
“The objective of the proposed work is to increase the set of possible exploration and science missions on Mars by investigating the feasibility of flapping wing aerospace architectures in a Martian environment. The proposed architecture consists of a Mars rover that serves as a mobile base and a swarm of Marsbees.”
Marsbee can considerably enhance the Mars exploration mission with the resulting benefits:
- Facilitating reconfigurable sensor networks
- Creation of resilient systems
- Sample or data collection using single or collaborative Marsbees. NASA clams.
“The proposed work combines expertise and talent from the US and Japan in a multidisciplinary program to address fundamental aspects of flapping wing flight in Martian atmosphere. The University of Alabama in Huntsville team will numerically model, analyze, and optimize a flapping flyer for Martian atmospheric conditions. The Japanese team will develop and test a micro flapping robot, uniquely designed and constructed for the low-density atmosphere on Mars. The hummingbird Micro-Air Vehicle (MAV), developed by the Japanese team is one of only a few robotic flappers in the world that can fly on Earth.”
Currently, the scientists are testing their samples in a special chamber that reflects the air density of the Martian atmosphere. In later testing phases, they’ll also look into the Marsbees’ maneuverability, takeoff and landing capacities, and establish a potential mission. The team still determine the wing design, find out accurately how these bees will fly and how much power they’ll require.