Media playback is unsupported on your device

Robotic insect: World's smallest flying robot takes off

3 May 2013 Last updated at 05:48 BST

Scientists in the US have created a robot the size of a fly that is able to perform the agile manoeuvres of the ubiquitous insects.

Robo-fly, which is built from carbon fibre, weighs a fraction of a gram and has super-fast electric "muscles" to power its wings.

Its Harvard University developers say tiny robots like theirs may eventually be used in rescue operations.

It could, for example, navigate through tiny spaces in collapsed buildings.

Victoria Gill reports.

Footage courtesy of Kevin Ma and Pakpong Chirarattananon, Harvard University