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This Genetically-Modified Cyborg Dragonfly Is the Tiniest Drone

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Printed: 1 June 2017

Scientists have altered a living dragonfly so they can control its movements.

As drone technology advances, one of the biggest challenges is shrinking down the flying robots. The smaller drones are, the better they will be for purposes both practical (fitting into cramped spaces) and devious (spying). Scientists have turned to insects to understand how beings with tiny bodies produce the energy needed to fly for long periods of time, while our own shrunk-down drones’ batteries die quickly.

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.

As drone technology advances, one of the biggest challenges is shrinking down the flying robots. The smaller drones are, the better they will be for purposes both practical (fitting into cramped spaces) and devious (spying). Scientists have turned to insects to understand how beings with tiny bodies produce the energy needed to fly for long periods of time, while our own shrunk-down drones’ batteries die quickly.

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.

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