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An Itty-Bitty Robot That Lifts Off Like a Sci-Fi Spaceship

By Matt Simon, WIRED
July 4, 2019

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT is due: Evolution has invented a galaxy of clever adaptations, from fish that swim up sea cucumber butts and eat their gonads, to parasites that mind-control their hosts in wildly complex ways. But it’s never dreamed up ion propulsion, a fantastical new way to power robots by accelerating ions instead of burning fuel or spinning rotors. The technology is in very early development, but it could lead to machines that fly like nothing that’s come before them.

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