Inspired by the biology of a bee, our group, along with collaborators at the Wyss Institute, Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and Northeastern University, is developing RoboBees, a miniature robotic system that could perform myriad roles in agriculture or disaster relief. A RoboBee measures about half the size of a paper clip, weighs less than one-tenth of a gram, and flies using “artificial muscles” comprised of materials that contract when a voltage is applied. The development of RoboBee is broadly divided into three main components: the Body, Brain, and Colony, and the overall goal is to greatly expand the boundaries of current robotics design and engineering through the development of autonomous micro-aerial vehicles capable of self-contained, self-directed flight and of achieving coordinated behavior in large groups. Our group focuses on building the brain system-on-chip (SoC) to control the bee autonomously and the bee’s power system to power the wing actuators for flight.

People: Xuan “Silvia” Zhang, Mario Lok, Saekyu Lee, Tao Tong, Brandon Reagen, Simon Chaput, Hyunkwang Lee


    • Xuan Zhang, Tao Tong, David Brooks, Gu-Yeon Wei: Evaluating Adaptive Clocking for Supply-Noise Resilience in Battery-Powered Aerial Microrobotic System-on-Chip. In: IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems (TCAS), 2014.
    • Xuan Zhang, David Brooks, Gu-Yeon Wei: A 20uW 10MHz Relaxation Oscillator with Adaptive Bias and Fast Self-Calibration in 40nm CMOS for Micro-Aerial Robotics Application. In: IEEE Asian Solid-State Circuits Conference (ASSCC), 2013.
    • Mario Lok, David Brooks, Robert Wood, Gu-Yeon Wei: Design and analysis of an integrated driver for piezoelectric actuators. In: IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition, 2013.
    • Tao Tong, Xuan Zhang, Wonyoung Kim, David Brooks, Gu-Yeon Wei: A Fully Integrated Battery-Connected Switched-Capacitor 4:1 Voltage Regulator with 70% Peak Efficiency Using Bottom-Plate Charge Recycling. In: IEEE Custom Integrated Circuits Conference (CICC), 2013.
    • Xuan Zhang, Tao Tong, David Brooks, Gu-Yeon Wei: Supply-Noise Resilient Adaptive Clocking for Battery-Powered Aerial Microrobotic System-on-Chip in 40nm CMOS. In: IEEE Custom Integrated Circuits Conference (CICC), 2013.