This drone can odor obstacles with a moth antenna

The researchers compared the moth antenna with an artificial sensor. They found that the moth antenna is more sensitive and reacts faster as it flies through mottled odor plumes.

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Researchers at the University of Washington and the University of Maryland have developed an autonomous drone that uses a moth’s live antennae to smell and avoid obstacles in its path in midair.

The “smell helicopter” was developed in collaboration with the Air Force Center of Excellence for Nature-Inspired Flight Technologies and Ideas (NIFTI) and uses antennas from the Manduca sexta hawkmoth.

Moths can use their antennae to capture chemicals in the environment.

By installing a live antenna from Motte as a sensor, this drone can be adjusted and searched for during rescue operations. It also helps navigate an area with unexploded equipment.

“By using a moth antenna with a smellicopter, we can get the best of both worlds: the sensitivity of a biological organism on a robotic platform on which we can control its movement,” said Melanie Anderson, lead author of the paper, entitled “A Bio-Hybrid odor controlled autonomous palm-sized aircraft “.

The researchers compared the moth antenna with an artificial sensor. They found that the moth antenna is more sensitive and reacts faster as it flies through mottled odor plumes.

Once separated from the living moth, the antenna remains active for up to four hours. This can be extended by storing the antennas in the refrigerator.

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