See that? It's a picture of a fly
that thinks it's flying
around, but it's really navigating a Lego
car around a small obstacle course. Researchers at ETH Zurich
's Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems developed an impressive visual stimulus tube that tricks said fly into thinking it's navigating the same terrain the camera-mounted robot is in. Then--in a novel twist--a high-speed visual wing-tracking system tells the robot where to roam, based on where the fly thinks it's flying. While it's not exactly
what the Na'vi were dealing with, it's close enough to make us a fun combination of fascinated and scared. Pseudo-psychedelic fly stimulus video after the break.