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Living Micro-Drones

Scientists Have Melded Technology and Dragonflies to Make Controllable Drones

— June 6, 2017 — Eco
Engineers at a technology research company called 'Draper' have created the first living micro-drone that can be controlled by human command (named the DragonflEye project).

These micro-drones were created by first genetically modifying the part of the dragonfly's neurological system connected to its wings so that it responded to pulses of light. Next, researchers connected a 'backpack guidance system' to the dragonfly's back. They were then able to control the dragonfly's flight pattern through a micro-navigation system using pulses of light to stimulate the insect's optical nerve.

At this time, researchers will not be releasing the living micro-drones into the wild so these drones have no opportunity to be weaponized yet, but the implications of the project are broad in scope. The drones could be used to do anything from search-and-rescue missions in dangerous spaces to crop pollination.
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