Bartholomew's Blog

De cette force une partie qui veut le mal toujours et fait toujours le bien.

Remote radio control of insect flight


Work in progress.

Some notes about the paper Remote radio control of insect flight by Hirotaka Sato, Christopher W. Berry, Yoav Peeri, Emen Baghoomian, Brendan E. Casey, Gabriel Lavella, John M. VandenBrooks, Jon F. Harrison and Michel M. Maharbiz.


  • Despite many intensive researches, micro and nano air vehicles (MAV / NAV) are very complex to develop for some reasons: * find a compromise between payload mass, flying range and speed * energy and power storage * flight technologies * etc.
  • To cope with these limitations, a solution can be found into insects: why not use them as MAVs?
  • Furthermore, neurophysiology of insects is well known
  • The flight control requires: 1. The triggering of flight initiation 2. The flight adjustment (how to turn, accelerate or decelerate) 3. The triggering of flight cessation
  • There are two kinds of flight muscular controls: 1. Species like Odonata and Orthoptera where there is a one-to-one match between the outputs of flight control neurons and the target muscles. In these orders: 1 neuronal stimulus == 1 wing muscle contraction. 2. Other orders such as Hymenoptera, Diptera and Coleoptera where the neuronal outputs fire at much lower frequency than the wing muscles. In these orders, the neuronal outputs "only" control some specific variables like the flight speed, the direction and so on. Thus, each neuron or area doesn't control a specific muscle. This kind of flight control seems to be less expensive in energy consumption.
  • The second category is very interesting in order to make MAVs: * It needs less power (less stimuli means less power consumption) * Some big species belong to Coleoptera (much easier to work on than small species, they can carry a much heavier payload (20% to 30% of their weight)

[todo] To continue.