Insect Cyborg

In 2006 the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) asked America’s scientists to submit “innovative proposals to develop technology to create insect-cyborgs” It was not your everyday government request, but it was an utterly serious one. For years, the US military has been hoping to develop “micro air vehicles” – ultra-small flying robots capable of performing surveillance in dangerous territory. Building these machines is not easy. The dynamics of flight change at very small sizes, and the vehicles need to be lightweight enough to fly, yet strong enough to carry cameras and other equipment. Most formidably, they need a source of power, and batteries light enough for microfliers just don’t have enough juice to keep the crafts aloft for very long. Consider the tiny, completely syntheticdrones that engineers have managed to create: the DelFly Micro, which measures less than 10cm from wingtip to wingtip, can stay airborne for just three minutes. Read more…

Source: Guardian

  Backyard Brains

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