Insect Spy Comes True “Beetle Version GoPro” Takes A Human Perspective to See the World

After designing a miniature sensor backpack for bees, researchers from the University of Washington set their sights on the beetle. The researchers built an advanced miniature camera backpack mounted on the beetle’s back,media reported on July 16.

Also known as the Beetle GoPro, the miniature backpack has a controllable mini-camera that can shoot video at 1-5 frames and rotate 60 degrees, a device that, according to the team, can provide reference value for future biological research in addition to creating an interesting perspective.

The researchers found two beetles in the genus, each weighing about 0.5 grams each time, so they made a miniature backpack weighing about 0.25 grams.

To keep the system working, the team drew on the experience of insect bionics, and researcher Sawyer Fuller said: “Fruit flies use 10 to 20 percent of the energy to drive the brain, most of which is used for visual processing, and in order to reduce energy consumption, the fruit fly has a small high-resolution area in the eye, which rotates the head to see the target in this part of the area, rather than leaving the entire complex eye in a high-resolution state.” “

Similarly, the camera of the mini-backpack uses an ultra-low-power black-and-white camera that rotates 60 degrees through the robotic arm, and when the voltage is applied, the robotic arm bends and stays for a minute to restore its original position, so that the camera can also provide a wide angle view without consuming a lot of energy, which can run for up to 6 hours on a single charge.

The team said the insects were not harmed by the study and would live for at least a year after the study ended. “With this backpack, we can see how beetles react to different stimuli in the environment, and insects can travel through small environments like rocks, which is a huge challenge for human-made robots, so this system can help humans see what many unknown spaces look like.” Sawyer Fuller said.