After two years of hard work in the “Kawahara Universal Information Network” project, Japanese researchers achieved impressive success. They have developed a radically new light source that is able to levitate and react to commands from outside. Therefore, it can be conditionally called a robot or a bot.
For great similarity with fireflies, the novelty was nicknamed “Luciola” (a kind of fireflies). It is not so much a machine as a specialized object with the mechanism of reflection of acoustic waves. If you place it between panels on which 285 micro-emitters of sound are mounted, it will be able to levitate at the expense of this radiation, and it is noiseless for a person, since we are talking about ultrasonic frequencies. And Luciola does not stand still – it’s funny balancing, but moving in the right direction on the command from the outside.
Similarity with the robot Luciola gives the presence of a simple microcontroller and LED-lamp, which is activated by command. The robot can mark its way through the labyrinth, and if you remove the time-laps of the video, then “draw” an arbitrary figure with light. In the presence of several dozen of these bots, you can already design a semblance of a flying screen to display some information.
While Luciola’s field of application is purely theoretical, Japanese engineers see it as a platform for creating new devices or developing interactive technologies. In theory, a tiny bot can be equipped with not only a light bulb, but also sensors or useful devices. But this will require the development of related industries, because the dimensions of the Luciola are only 3.5 mm in diameter, and the weight is 16 milligrams.