Cyborg insects to the rescue
Cyborg insects could soon be helping in disaster zones search-and- rescue operations, or, more sinsterly, be flying around a security sensitive area near you, keeping an eye on things.
That's the hope of a group of scientists at the University of Michigan who have been researching the technology needed to create an army of such 'controlled' insects.
The future's micro
Having been unable to build a complete robot insect that could match the maneouverability of a real insect, the team decided that by attaching 'add on' bits of nano-kit to an insect's body, they could still achieve the desired result, perhaps an even better result.
An energy source was needed to power the tiny sensors the scientists wanted to place on insects to allow information to be passed on that would be useful to humans.
After a type of solar panel was looked into but dismissed, the focus switched to harnessing the natural vibration in the wings and wing muscles of insects. The result is a vibration energy collector consisting of a miniscule three-layered spiral generator.
The researchers in Michigan used the Green June Beetle for their experiments, but the system they've developed could apply to all sorts of insect species.
The results were published in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering.
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