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The Smellicopter: An Obstacle-Avoiding Drone that Uses Live Moth Antenna to Seek Out Smells


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Assembling the Smellicopter.

A newly developed autonomous flying drone uses an antenna taken from a live moth to navigate toward smells.

Credit: Mark Stone/University of Washington

An autonomous flying drone developed by researchers at the University of Washington (UW) and the University of Maryland College Park uses a live antenna from a moth to navigate toward smells.

The Smellicopter employs an antenna taken from a Manduca sexta hawkmoth, which is linked by wires to an electrical circuit to measure the average signal received from all of the antenna’s cells.

When compared with a man-made sensor, the moth antenna reacted faster and recovered more quickly.

The team created Smellicopter by adding the antenna to an open source quadcopter drone platform; the drone seeks odors via a “cast and surge” protocol mimicking moths’ smell-based navigation.

From UW News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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