Have you ever imagined a moth flapping its way through dangerous areas that are terrifying for humans and unsafe for them. But imagine if you got a remote control for that moth flying across disaster-hit regions.
If you get a chance to control that moth so as to get an elaborate idea of the area over which it is flying and then able to analyse it or ask the moth to bring back critical information for rescue or search missions.
All these assumptions have been made a reality by the scientists as they have successfully developed a new methodology to electronically manipulate the moth’s flight.
“In the big picture, we want to know whether we can control the movement of moths for use in applications such as search and rescue operations. The idea would be to attach sensors to moths in order to develop a flexible and aerial sensor network that can identify survivors or public health hazards in the wake of a disaster,” said co-author Alper Bozkurt in a news release.
According to the scientists, they can now manipulate, in simpler terms control, the muscles of moths electronically. In fact, they can also monitor the electrical signals that moths use to control their muscles used in flight.
Detailing the research work and its findings, the researchers said that they attached electrodes to a moth when it was in its pupal stage, a time when the caterpillar is in a cocoon during the metamorphosis process. They further explain the muscle groups which helped in flight were attached to the electrodes. The researchers said this allowed them to monitor electromyographic signals, the electric signals used by moths during flight for giving command to the muscles.
“This is helping us in getting a much better understanding of how moths maneuver through the air,” said Bozkurt.
Concluding the study, the researchers said that the findings could serve as a major step forward to developing biobots.
The findings of study were published in the Journal of Visualized Experiments.