Tech UPTechnologyThe powerful insect-engine

The powerful insect-engine

El potente insecto-motor Don’t be fooled by the fragile appearance of moths. Just one of these insects can move a wheeled machine using its tiny brain, the size of a grain of rice.

Engineer Charles Higgins of the University of Arizona made a public demonstration that this is possible at the recent meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in the United States. The moth, immobilized inside a plastic tube aboard a 15-centimeter-high robot, made the machine turn and move, right and left, just by moving its eyes, before the astonished gazes of those present. The secret: an electrode attached to a single neuron in the region of the brain that is responsible for fixing your vision during flight. Using a mathematical formula, Higgins explained, a computer translates these brain signals into action, and the robot moves.

The technology, still in its infancy, could be used in the future to provide autonomy of movement for the disabled and amputees, according to Higgins.

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