Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Flies Playing Video Games...Could Lead To New Flying Robots

They don’t call them flies for nothing. While we try to avoid the relentless aerial acrobatics of flies, some scientists have built them their own flight simulator. As this ScienCentral News video reports, the work could lead to new flying robots.

[If you cannot see the youtube video below, you can click here for a high quality mp4 video.]

Interviewee: Michael Dickinson,
California Institute of Technology
Length: 1 min 28 sec
Produced by Sunita Reed
Edited by Sunita Reed and Chris Bergendorff
Copyright © ScienCentral, Inc.


Blobs bad, vertical lines good. That’s the rule flies use to navigate, according to a new study published in the journal “Current Biology.”

To study how fruit flies steer themselves, California Institute of Technology researcher Michael Dickinson and his colleagues used a tiny flight simulator, operated by a fruit fly. The so-called tethered-flight arena consists of a cylindrical light show, with a fly as the one-woman audience (only female flies were used).

Original here

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