Researchers will teach drones to fly like bumblebees

The study's lead author, Sridhar Ravi, Ph.D., studied how bumblebees move through a tunnel with

several gates of different sizes. The insects flew through the holes thanks to their ultra-precise sense of their size and a clear perception of the size of obstacles along the way.

By scanning the hole, the bumblebees skillfully passed throughgate by changing flight speed and posture. They even flew sideways when the hole was less than their wingspan. This behavior was first observed in flying invertebrates.

“Previous studies have shown that suchcomplex cognitive processes, such as perception of one's own size, are present only in animals with large brains. However, our observations prove that insects with small brains can be aware of their body size and use this information when flying in difficult conditions, ”explains Dr. Ravi.

Dr. Sridhar Ravi said that bumblebees can skillfully fly through holes of different sizes by manipulating their approach speed and posture. Credit: University of New South Wales Canberra

New research will help in robotics,sure Dr. Ravi. “Insects are ideal models for robots. They have extremely small brains, and yet they perform complex tasks. We need to figure out how to apply their skills to the coding of future robotic systems. ”

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