Watch This Moth Drive a Robot Around

Watch This Moth Drive a Robot Around

Bug-controlled robots may help detect danger.

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Robots are awesome, and that's pretty much a concrete fact at this point. But you know what's even more awesome? A creature that (probably) has no idea what it's actually doing, driving a robot around. Researchers at the University of Tokyo clearly agree with this assessment, and to prove the point they strapped a moth to a tiny robot and recorded the results.

But as cool as the concept may be, there's some serious scientific research going on here as well. The moth essentially works as the brains of the robot, and can be used to track down certain smells - in this case, the pheromones from a female moth. When the moth walks towards the scent, it turns a foam ball that drives the robot in a certain direction.

As the comparison clip shows, the moth is even capable of overcoming a turning bias that was instituted to make the task more challenging. Eventually, researchers hope that this experiment is just a step towards using similar bots to detect chemical leaks and other dangers. But for now, the cool factor is enough to keep us enthralled.

Source: IOP via Geekosystem

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I for one will welcome our new cyborg moth overlords

He actually got there quicker with the bias.

and now, a counterstrike clan!

i now you can do it.

go moth-r-funkers!

I'm not even going to comment on how utterly pointless that research is because I've got a much more pressing concern: who put that music over the video, and do they realize it sounded like porn music?

Avaholic03:
I'm not even going to comment on how utterly pointless that research is because I've got a much more pressing concern: who put that music over the video, and do they realize it sounded like porn music?

This is how most preliminary research is done. In this case, it was to confirm a theory of some sort. The goal of this research was to set the groundwork for others to build on, not to create a mothbot all in one go.

Avaholic03:
I'm not even going to comment on how utterly pointless that research is because I've got a much more pressing concern: who put that music over the video, and do they realize it sounded like porn music?

they were trying to get the moth in the mood for a stronger result

weirdguy:

Avaholic03:
I'm not even going to comment on how utterly pointless that research is because I've got a much more pressing concern: who put that music over the video, and do they realize it sounded like porn music?

they were trying to get the moth in the mood for a stronger result

I'm sorry, but this was the best post I've read all day.

This is really interesting. If this hypothetical bug-driven machine would exist, what insect would they use? Would moths be the best candidate for this?

Also, moths controlling robots is just kind of cool in itself.

hmm, living organisms used to power robots sure sounds familiar... "cough,badnik,cough"

what makes sure the moth doesn't just fly leaving the robot behind?

 

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