One man’s pest is another man’s inspiration. Think about the strength to body weight ratio of ants, or the flight speed and reaction time of a common housefly. Scientists have been thinking hard about how to unlock the incredible physics in insect bodies to create powerful drones for military and other purposes.
Insect models have inspired drone technology in various ways:
Flies: The fast and lightweight fly has inspired some of the tiniest flying robots. One prototype developed by BAE systems even has a body and wings that resemble a fly. These little drones can weigh less an ounce, yet carry powerful surveillance tools.
Hornets: These hovering creatures have inspired drones that fly like helicopters. The Black Hornet system developed by Prox Dynamics includes a base station and two hornet drones that capture live video and take high-def photos. In rugged and rural terrain, military units can send Black Hornets to places they cannot otherwise access.
Termites: Humans think of termites as a force of destruction, but those pests are actually building their own nests underground after they chew up wood. Researchers have found inspiration in termites to program small drones that can work on construction projects without people on-site.
Bug science sure can be fascinating! Even still, nobody wants mother nature’s drones entering their household. Think of Stern Environmental when you need help from pest experts.