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The drones – called ‘FlyCroTug’ – are suitable for both industrial applications and rescue operations. They feature an attachment mechanism, which enables them to land cleanly almost anywhere. They can also transport loads of up to 40 times their weight, whereby they do not lift heavy objects, rather tug them along. As reported in the press release from Stanford University , the researchers took their inspiration from the natural world: Wasps behave in a very similar way when capturing and transporting their prey. Unlike the insects, though, the drones should be able to transport water bottles, dressing material, and drugs to places where human aides find it harder to access.

Drones modeled on insects are nothing new. For instance, back in spring, retail giant Walmart announced that it had filed patents for drones for pollinating plants in farming. In addition, scientists at the University of Cologne have analyzed the locomotive styles of cockroaches. The findings should benefit floor-mounted robots, which move with varying speeds.