Scientists at the University of Washington have developed a tiny, wireless camera small enough to be worn by insects.
Scientists at the University of Washington have developed a tiny, wireless camera small enough to be worn by insects. The device weighs 250 milligrams — one-tenth the weight of a playing card — and streams high-resolution video to a smartphone at up to 5 frames per second, allowing scientists for the first time to record video of what insects see in real time.
The new device, whose development was announced in the journal Science Robotics, has a mechanical arm that lets the camera pivot 60 degrees, allowing for black-and-white panoramic shots. When scientists want to move the arm, they apply a high voltage that makes the material bend to the desired position. The camera will stay there for about a minute before relaxing back to its front-facing position. The system, which is controlled by a smartphone app and can operate from as far as 120 meters away, allowed the scientists to avoid using heavy batteries to power the insect-sized camera. They tested the systems on a death-feigning beetle and a Pinacate beetle.
Read more at Yale Environment 360
Image: Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a tiny camera that can ride aboard an insect or an insect-sized robot. MARK STONE/UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON