Animals are inspirational ground for new advanced technology, but humans have been challenged by their agility, speed and manoeuvrability, especially dragonflies. Over the past years, animals like cockroaches, locusts and turtles have been experimented with electronic accoutrements by scientists, now dragonflies are no exception. Back in January, a team of researchers from Charles Stark Draper Laboratory and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) came up with plans to fit dragonflies with tiny electronic backpacks, known as DragonflEye, which allows the researchers to control them remotely.
Making use of what nature has to these animals and insects, scientists developed alternative ways to properly mimic the speed of winged animals with electronic systems, instead of designing robots and sensors from scratch.
Named DragonflEye from Draper and HHMI, the dragonfly is controlled through pulses of light piped into certain neurons in the bug’s brain, allowing humans to pilot steer it like a drone. All these to make use of these tiny insects to guide pollination, deliver payloads or scout unsafe territory. The video below shows the cyborg dragonfly taking flight for the first time. The backpacks are also solar-powered, so that it can fly freely outside without worrying about battery running out.
You can watch the below video:
[Source: Charles Stark Draper Laboratory]