Super Cool Tech: Tiny Beetle Backpacks, With Cameras

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We think we’ve seen the world from a bug’s perspective in movies using computer graphics and lifelike drawings, but nothing compares to this new mini-beetle-camera-backpack. Technology is so cool when there’s no risk of being hacked, who would benefit from PII (personally identifiable information) of volunteer beetles anyway? … Exactly. This invention falls under the “scientific quest to create high-tech itsy-bitsy backpacks for animals.” Fruit flies, pigeons, and bees have been successfully fitted already, so coming in slow, it’s time for the beetle.

“We have created a low-power, low-weight, wireless camera system that can capture a first-person view of what’s happening from an actual live insect or create vision for small robots,” said University of Washington’s Shyam Gollakota, lead author of a paper on the system published recently in the journal Science Robotics.

The camera streams black and white footage to a phone and can be commanded to rotate for panoramic views. It also functions via battery power for over six hours, with an accelerometer triggered by the beetle’s movement. Future versions could be solar-powered.

Tested on a death-feigning beetle and Pinacate beetle, neither seemed bothered by the additional weight, moving around freely. Both also lived for a year after the project ended.

“This is the first time we’ve had a first-person view from the back of a beetle while it’s walking around,” said co-author Vikram Iyer. You can watch the full video on how the camera works here, and thank us later, because this is pretty neat: https://youtu.be/115BGUZopHs

Ready to take your IT service to the next level? Reach out to EnhancedTECH today at (714) 970-9330.

-Emmy Seigler

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/scientists-fit-beetles-with-tiny-camera-backpacks-that-reveal-insect-secrets/ar-BB16MQAx

Image Source: CNET, Mark Stone/ University of Washington

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