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Cyborg flies jack into Lego robots semi-Avatar-style

Trent Wolbe
August 28, 2010
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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.

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