After strapping tiny computers to the backs of giant flower beetles, scientists were able to control their flight path, essentially turning them into biological drones.
The computer “backpacks” came equipped with a microcontroller, a wireless receiver and transmitter, and six tiny electrodes to stimulate the 3Ax muscle, which is known to help giant flower beetles steer and maneuver their way in the air. If the scientists beamed the backpack instructions to stimulate the 3Ax muscle on the right side, the rate at which the beetle’s right wing flapped changed, causing the critter to veer right. Likewise, when the scientists stimulated the beetle’s left 3Ax muscle remotely, the cyborg turned left. The higher the frequency of the stimulation, the sharper the beetle’s turn was. They caught this all on tape with a high-speed camera: