[Editor’s note: As has been previously reported, these dragonflies could be used for artificial pollination.]
A new experiment bypasses the studying of insect flight to use living insects themselves as drones. Thus, researchers at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory and Howard Hughes Medical Institute present DragonflEye, an insanely futuristic cyborg dragonfly that researchers can remote control.
DragonflEye was created by genetically modifying regular dragonflies with “steering neurons” in the insect’s spinal cord, which are light sensitive. Tiny, fiber-optic-like structures in the dragonfly’s eyes send pulses of light to their brains, functionally controlling where the insect flies via remote control. The dragonfly also carries a miniature “backpack” with sensors and a minuscule solar panel to power the data collection technology. In theory, the dragonfly will be able to be steered by the researchers and will collect data via its sensors from environments that aren’t safe for humans.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: This Genetically-Modified Cyborg Dragonfly Is the Tiniest Drone