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Brief Published: 24 Nov 2011

Sensor-Equipped Dragonflies


A new biomimetic innovation is on the cards from a team of researchers at Duke University in the US.

To build better robots in the future, the scientists are analysing the complex flight dynamics of dragonflies, which have the ability to hunt mid-flight and reach impressive speeds of 97 kph.

The team have placed sensors on the insects so they can collect data on how the dragonfly moves. Data is collected from the insect’s nerve cords and transmitted via a Wi-Fi system. Electrical engineer Matt Reynolds says: “Our system provides enough power to the chip attached to a flying dragonfly that it can transmit in real time the electrical signals from many dragonfly neurons.”

For more biomimetic innovations, see Biological Blueprints.

Duke University