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This paper presents some recent improvements in the fabrication and control of the micromechanical flying insect (MFI), a centimeter sized aerial vehicle currently being developed at the University of California, Berkeley. We report a lift of 506 μN from a single wing, which is sufficient for a 100 mg machine to lift itself off the ground. This lift matches very well with predictions based on quasi steady state models. We present some recent improvements in thorax fabrication leading to the development of a light weight platform (∼ 100 mg), which generates 400 μN of lift with a single wing. We also present a new sensor mechanism, which makes it possible to sense the motion of the actuators without having to add anything to the structure itself.