Researchers at NCSU can transform Moths into living robots
Researchers at the North Caroline University (NCSU) have transformed moths into Biobots, i. e. living robots, by entrenching electrodes in the creature at initial stage of its lifecycle.
The basic aim behind this research is to create an aerial sensor network that is flexible enough to help in human search and rescue operations, by identifying the survivors in both natural and man-made disasters.
Researcher Alper Bozkurt from North Carolina State University is working on this project. He explained that electrodes are attached to the moths during the pupal stage. This is the stage where the caterpillar is in a cocoon and is undergoing metamorphosis that would convert it into a winged adult moth.
Electrodes are attached to the muscle group of the mouth that is accountable for its flight. This is done so that the researchers can examine the electromyographic signals, which are the electric signals that the moth uses during all its flights. These signals basically guide the muscles of the moth regarding the set of actions that need to be undertaken. As the moth moves it wings, the data so generated from the electromyographic signals is collected using a wireless platform.
Once all these signals are recorded, the researchers then observe them to understand how moths use their wings to steer while in flight. They also match all the movements that the moth undertakes with the corresponding electromyographic signals so as to understand how it operates through the air.
All this research is done from the view that this will help the researchers in the development of technologies that in future can control the movements of a moth in flight.
The next step in this research would involve the development of an automated system that has the potential to explore and fine-tune all the parameters that control moth's flight.
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