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Flying Beetle Cyborgs Guided With Tiny Battery-Powered Backpacks

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A cyborg beetle in flight.

Nanyang Technological Institute researchers say the cyborg beetles are better at dealing with in-flight turbulence than drones, as well as being easier to guide and less costly.

Credit: Li Yao and Hirotaka Sato/Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Nanyang Technological Institute researchers in Singapore have developed cyborg beetles equipped with electronics-filled backpacks that enable the researchers to control the beetles in flight with small electric pulses.

The beetles' acceleration can be increased by upping the frequency of the pulses, and a three-dimensional motion capture system tracks their positions during flight.

The team says insects are better at dealing with turbulence than drones, are easier to guide, and are less costly.

The researchers are currently studying how to control the beetles' altitude, as well as how to make them hover in mid-air.

From New Scientist
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