Latest in Science

Image credit:

Researchers want to use wasps to improve UAV flight plans

The insects are unparalleled at finding their way home.
Andrew Tarantola, @terrortola
February 15, 2016
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Getty

After spending the past decade studying ground-nesting wasps a team of researchers from the Australian National University believe that they've unlocked the secret to the insects' uncanny homing abilities -- one they hope can be applied to future UAV development. Modern, autonomous UAVs have to be laden with high resolution cameras, GPS radios and a slew of other high-tech gadgetry in order to know where they are and where they're going. Wasps, on the other hand, only need their compound eyes and a daily refresher flight.

The ANU team used high-speed cameras to track the wasps eye movements and, from that data, figure out where the insects were looking. "The learning and homing abilities of wasps make them smarter than anything humans know how to build," ANU Professor Jochen Zeil said in a statement. "Roboticists look to replace expensive high resolution cameras and reduce power consumption without losing information that is crucial for visual navigation and our research could help with this." The research should also help biologists better understand the mental mechanisms involved in the insects' navigational skills.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Some of Ubisoft's PS4 games won't run on PS5

Some of Ubisoft's PS4 games won't run on PS5

View
RISC-V is trying to launch an open-hardware revolution

RISC-V is trying to launch an open-hardware revolution

View
Chevy will start selling EV retrofit kits in 2021

Chevy will start selling EV retrofit kits in 2021

View
Ford reveals how much its Active Driver Assist option will cost

Ford reveals how much its Active Driver Assist option will cost

View
Scientists found an Earth-sized ‘rogue’ planet in the Milky Way

Scientists found an Earth-sized ‘rogue’ planet in the Milky Way

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr