Mothra? No, It's Just A Robot Exoskeleton Controlled By A Moth : The Two-WayWhy would you attach a moth to a robot so that it could maneuver around a wind tunnel? Not to create some sort of science fiction monster. The goal is to learn more about how to detect dangerous odors. Moths' antennae may provide some clues.
"Researchers at the University of Tokyo have strapped a moth into a robotic exoskeleton, with the moth successfully controlling the robot to reach a specific location inside a wind tunnel," writes ExtremeTech.
But there is, apparently, a reason for this research.
"Fortunately, the Japanese researchers aren't actually trying to construct a moth master race," ExtremeTech says. "In reality, it's all about the moth's antennae and sensory-motor system. The researchers are trying to improve the performance of autonomous robots that are tasked with tracking the source of chemical leaks and spills. 'Most chemical sensors, such as semiconductor sensors, have a slow recovery time and are not able to detect the temporal dynamics of odors as insects do,' says Noriyasu Ando, the lead author of the research. 'Our results will be an important indication for the selection of sensors and models when we apply the insect sensory-motor system to artificial systems.' "