Cyborg dragonflies can become surveillance cameras

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Scientists have created a technology that can turn flying insects into surveillance drones.

The technology makes use of a tiny backpack equipped with solar power and navigation systems. The backpack is fitted onto a dragonfly and commands the insect using optogenetics, a biological technique that uses light to control the “steering” neurons inside the nerve cord. The same setup can be applied to other insects of similar size, such as honeybees.

“This system pushes the boundaries of energy harvesting, motion sensing, algorithms, miniaturization and optogenetics, all in a system small enough for an insect to wear,” J. Wheeler, biomedical engineer at Draper and Howard Hughes Medical Institute and principal investigator of the technology said in a press release.

The cyborg dragonflies could be turned into tiny surveillance systems. Other applications of this technology may include guided pollination, payload delivery and precision medicine and diagnostics.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. The backpack contains solar power and navigation systems
2. The backpack steers the dragonfly with optogenetic tools
3. The dragonfly used as a surveillance camera
4. A honeybee equipped with the backpack next to the dragonfly

VOICEOVER (in English):

“The technology makes use of a tiny backpack equipped with solar power and navigation systems.”

“The backpack is fitted onto a dragonfly and commands the insect with optogenetics, a biological technique that uses light to control the ‘steering’ neurons inside the insect’s nerve cord.”

“Dragonflies can then be turned into tiny surveillance systems.”

“The same setup can be applied to other insects of similar size, such as honeybees.”


SOURCES: Draper, Mashable, Engadget
http://www.draper.com/news/equipping-insects-special-service
http://mashable.com/2017/01/26/dragonfly-drone-cyborgs/#lxCLSEtU7aq5
https://www.engadget.com/2017/01/26/genetically-modified-cyborg-dragonflies/