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The generation of forces and moments during visual-evoked steering maneuvers in flying Drosophila.

Sugiura H, Dickinson MH - PLoS ONE (2009)

Bottom Line: Our results indicate that fruit flies actively generate both sideslip and roll in response to a lateral focus of expansion (FOE).Sideslip forces and rolling moments were sinusoidal functions of FOE position, whereas longitudinal force was proportional to the absolute value of the sine of FOE position.These experiments expand our understanding of the degrees of freedom that a fruit fly can actually control in flight.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. sugiura.hiroki@jaxa.jp

ABSTRACT
Sideslip force, longitudinal force, rolling moment, and pitching moment generated by tethered fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, were measured during optomotor reactions within an electronic flight simulator. Forces and torques were acquired by optically measuring the angular deflections of the beam to which the flies were tethered using a laser and a photodiode. Our results indicate that fruit flies actively generate both sideslip and roll in response to a lateral focus of expansion (FOE). The polarity of this behavior was such that the animal's aerodynamic response would carry it away from the expanding pattern, suggesting that it constitutes an avoidance reflex or centering response. Sideslip forces and rolling moments were sinusoidal functions of FOE position, whereas longitudinal force was proportional to the absolute value of the sine of FOE position. Pitching moments remained nearly constant irrespective of stimulus position or strength, with a direction indicating a tonic nose-down pitch under tethered conditions. These experiments expand our understanding of the degrees of freedom that a fruit fly can actually control in flight.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Cartoon summary of results.(A) Flies increase axial force and maintain downward pitch in response to a forward FOC. (B) Flies attempt to move away from a lateral FOE with a combined sideslip and roll.
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pone-0004883-g004: Cartoon summary of results.(A) Flies increase axial force and maintain downward pitch in response to a forward FOC. (B) Flies attempt to move away from a lateral FOE with a combined sideslip and roll.

Mentions: The forces and moments generated by tethered fruit flies in response to visual stimuli were measured to provide insight into the behavioral and aerodynamic mechanisms of flight control. Our results show that a fruit fly's reaction to a translational visual stimulus involves a coordinated modulation of forces and moments. In particular, in response to a lateral FOE, which simulates sideways motion, an animal generates side-slip force and roll away from the expansion (Fig. 3D, E; 4B). Both reactions would accelerate the animal away from the expanding stimulus. Tammero et al. [17] reported the yawing-away response consistent with these reactions which is indicated by green arrows in the Fig. 4B. In response to a FOE directly in front of an animal, a flow pattern that simulates forward motion, a tethered animal decreases axial force and maintains a nose down pitch (Fig. 3B; 4A).


The generation of forces and moments during visual-evoked steering maneuvers in flying Drosophila.

Sugiura H, Dickinson MH - PLoS ONE (2009)

Cartoon summary of results.(A) Flies increase axial force and maintain downward pitch in response to a forward FOC. (B) Flies attempt to move away from a lateral FOE with a combined sideslip and roll.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2654101&req=5

pone-0004883-g004: Cartoon summary of results.(A) Flies increase axial force and maintain downward pitch in response to a forward FOC. (B) Flies attempt to move away from a lateral FOE with a combined sideslip and roll.
Mentions: The forces and moments generated by tethered fruit flies in response to visual stimuli were measured to provide insight into the behavioral and aerodynamic mechanisms of flight control. Our results show that a fruit fly's reaction to a translational visual stimulus involves a coordinated modulation of forces and moments. In particular, in response to a lateral FOE, which simulates sideways motion, an animal generates side-slip force and roll away from the expansion (Fig. 3D, E; 4B). Both reactions would accelerate the animal away from the expanding stimulus. Tammero et al. [17] reported the yawing-away response consistent with these reactions which is indicated by green arrows in the Fig. 4B. In response to a FOE directly in front of an animal, a flow pattern that simulates forward motion, a tethered animal decreases axial force and maintains a nose down pitch (Fig. 3B; 4A).

Bottom Line: Our results indicate that fruit flies actively generate both sideslip and roll in response to a lateral focus of expansion (FOE).Sideslip forces and rolling moments were sinusoidal functions of FOE position, whereas longitudinal force was proportional to the absolute value of the sine of FOE position.These experiments expand our understanding of the degrees of freedom that a fruit fly can actually control in flight.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Chofu, Tokyo, Japan. sugiura.hiroki@jaxa.jp

ABSTRACT
Sideslip force, longitudinal force, rolling moment, and pitching moment generated by tethered fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, were measured during optomotor reactions within an electronic flight simulator. Forces and torques were acquired by optically measuring the angular deflections of the beam to which the flies were tethered using a laser and a photodiode. Our results indicate that fruit flies actively generate both sideslip and roll in response to a lateral focus of expansion (FOE). The polarity of this behavior was such that the animal's aerodynamic response would carry it away from the expanding pattern, suggesting that it constitutes an avoidance reflex or centering response. Sideslip forces and rolling moments were sinusoidal functions of FOE position, whereas longitudinal force was proportional to the absolute value of the sine of FOE position. Pitching moments remained nearly constant irrespective of stimulus position or strength, with a direction indicating a tonic nose-down pitch under tethered conditions. These experiments expand our understanding of the degrees of freedom that a fruit fly can actually control in flight.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus