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Remote radio control of insect flight.

Sato H, Berry CW, Peeri Y, Baghoomian E, Casey BE, Lavella G, Vandenbrooks JM, Harrison JF, Maharbiz MM - Front Integr Neurosci (2009)

Bottom Line: Turns were triggered through the direct muscular stimulus of either of the basalar muscles.We characterized the response times, success rates, and free-flight trajectories elicited by our neural control systems in remotely controlled beetles.We believe this type of technology will open the door to in-flight perturbation and recording of insect flight responses.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California at Berkeley Berkeley, CA, USA.

ABSTRACT
We demonstrated the remote control of insects in free flight via an implantable radio-equipped miniature neural stimulating system. The pronotum mounted system consisted of neural stimulators, muscular stimulators, a radio transceiver-equipped microcontroller and a microbattery. Flight initiation, cessation and elevation control were accomplished through neural stimulus of the brain which elicited, suppressed or modulated wing oscillation. Turns were triggered through the direct muscular stimulus of either of the basalar muscles. We characterized the response times, success rates, and free-flight trajectories elicited by our neural control systems in remotely controlled beetles. We believe this type of technology will open the door to in-flight perturbation and recording of insect flight responses.

No MeSH data available.


Elevation control of Cotinis texana beetle tethered on a custom pitching gimbal. Brain stimulus altered the gimbal pitch of the beetle. (A) Gimbal pitch angle with the mounted beetle during alternating periods of un-stimulated and stimulated flight. Horizontal bars indicate durations of the stimuli (3 s each); a 10-Hz, 3.0 V pulse train whose waveform is identical to that in Figure 3A was applied during the indicated periods. (B) Audio recording corresponding to (A). Red and black arrows indicate the beginnings and endings of the stimuli to the brain. The audio amplitudes were normalized using a mean absolute value during un-stimulated periods. Photographs of a gimbal-mounted beetle during (C) un-stimulated and (D) stimulated flight. A light-emitting diode (LED) mounted to the microcontroller acted as an indicator by blinking during stimulation. See Movies 8 and 9 in Supplementary Material for the corresponding normal and high speed video tracks, respectively.
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Figure 5: Elevation control of Cotinis texana beetle tethered on a custom pitching gimbal. Brain stimulus altered the gimbal pitch of the beetle. (A) Gimbal pitch angle with the mounted beetle during alternating periods of un-stimulated and stimulated flight. Horizontal bars indicate durations of the stimuli (3 s each); a 10-Hz, 3.0 V pulse train whose waveform is identical to that in Figure 3A was applied during the indicated periods. (B) Audio recording corresponding to (A). Red and black arrows indicate the beginnings and endings of the stimuli to the brain. The audio amplitudes were normalized using a mean absolute value during un-stimulated periods. Photographs of a gimbal-mounted beetle during (C) un-stimulated and (D) stimulated flight. A light-emitting diode (LED) mounted to the microcontroller acted as an indicator by blinking during stimulation. See Movies 8 and 9 in Supplementary Material for the corresponding normal and high speed video tracks, respectively.

Mentions: During flight, wing oscillation frequency could be manipulated by modulating the wing oscillations with the neural stimulator. For C. texana, we observed that progressively shortening the time between positive and negative pulses led to a “throttling” of flight where the beetle's normal 76 Hz wing oscillation was strongly modulated by the 0.1–10 Hz applied stimulus (Figure 2; the second half of Movie 1 in Supplementary Material). A repeating program of 3 s, 10 Hz, 3.0 V pulse trains followed by a 3.3-s pause (no stimulus) resulted in alternating periods of higher and lower pitch flight (Figure 5, Movie 8 in Supplementary Material for elevation control of C. texana tethered on a custom pitching gimbal). In audio recordings of flight, the audio amplitude was enhanced by ∼10% when the beetle was stimulated (Figure 5B). High speed (6000 fps) video showed that during stimulation, wing oscillations had a 5.6% greater frequency than during un-stimulated flight (Movie 9 and Table 4 in Supplementary Material). For M. torquata, brain stimulus at 100 Hz in the same manner as C. texana led to depression of flight. Set on a custom pitching gimbal, M. torquata could be repeatedly made to lower its attack angle to the horizon when stimulated (Figure 6, Movie 10 in Supplementary Material); note how stroke amplitude is visibly reduced. Ten of eleven tested beetles showed this tendency (Table 5 in Supplementary Material shows angle changes in individual insects). Occasionally, stimulation resulted in flight cessation (fourth column in Table 5 in Supplementary Material). In free flight, this corresponded to a controllable drop in altitude when stimulated (Figure 7, Movie 11 in Supplementary Material). One second of stimulus resulted in a 60-cm median drop in altitude (range 33–129 cm).


Remote radio control of insect flight.

Sato H, Berry CW, Peeri Y, Baghoomian E, Casey BE, Lavella G, Vandenbrooks JM, Harrison JF, Maharbiz MM - Front Integr Neurosci (2009)

Elevation control of Cotinis texana beetle tethered on a custom pitching gimbal. Brain stimulus altered the gimbal pitch of the beetle. (A) Gimbal pitch angle with the mounted beetle during alternating periods of un-stimulated and stimulated flight. Horizontal bars indicate durations of the stimuli (3 s each); a 10-Hz, 3.0 V pulse train whose waveform is identical to that in Figure 3A was applied during the indicated periods. (B) Audio recording corresponding to (A). Red and black arrows indicate the beginnings and endings of the stimuli to the brain. The audio amplitudes were normalized using a mean absolute value during un-stimulated periods. Photographs of a gimbal-mounted beetle during (C) un-stimulated and (D) stimulated flight. A light-emitting diode (LED) mounted to the microcontroller acted as an indicator by blinking during stimulation. See Movies 8 and 9 in Supplementary Material for the corresponding normal and high speed video tracks, respectively.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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Figure 5: Elevation control of Cotinis texana beetle tethered on a custom pitching gimbal. Brain stimulus altered the gimbal pitch of the beetle. (A) Gimbal pitch angle with the mounted beetle during alternating periods of un-stimulated and stimulated flight. Horizontal bars indicate durations of the stimuli (3 s each); a 10-Hz, 3.0 V pulse train whose waveform is identical to that in Figure 3A was applied during the indicated periods. (B) Audio recording corresponding to (A). Red and black arrows indicate the beginnings and endings of the stimuli to the brain. The audio amplitudes were normalized using a mean absolute value during un-stimulated periods. Photographs of a gimbal-mounted beetle during (C) un-stimulated and (D) stimulated flight. A light-emitting diode (LED) mounted to the microcontroller acted as an indicator by blinking during stimulation. See Movies 8 and 9 in Supplementary Material for the corresponding normal and high speed video tracks, respectively.
Mentions: During flight, wing oscillation frequency could be manipulated by modulating the wing oscillations with the neural stimulator. For C. texana, we observed that progressively shortening the time between positive and negative pulses led to a “throttling” of flight where the beetle's normal 76 Hz wing oscillation was strongly modulated by the 0.1–10 Hz applied stimulus (Figure 2; the second half of Movie 1 in Supplementary Material). A repeating program of 3 s, 10 Hz, 3.0 V pulse trains followed by a 3.3-s pause (no stimulus) resulted in alternating periods of higher and lower pitch flight (Figure 5, Movie 8 in Supplementary Material for elevation control of C. texana tethered on a custom pitching gimbal). In audio recordings of flight, the audio amplitude was enhanced by ∼10% when the beetle was stimulated (Figure 5B). High speed (6000 fps) video showed that during stimulation, wing oscillations had a 5.6% greater frequency than during un-stimulated flight (Movie 9 and Table 4 in Supplementary Material). For M. torquata, brain stimulus at 100 Hz in the same manner as C. texana led to depression of flight. Set on a custom pitching gimbal, M. torquata could be repeatedly made to lower its attack angle to the horizon when stimulated (Figure 6, Movie 10 in Supplementary Material); note how stroke amplitude is visibly reduced. Ten of eleven tested beetles showed this tendency (Table 5 in Supplementary Material shows angle changes in individual insects). Occasionally, stimulation resulted in flight cessation (fourth column in Table 5 in Supplementary Material). In free flight, this corresponded to a controllable drop in altitude when stimulated (Figure 7, Movie 11 in Supplementary Material). One second of stimulus resulted in a 60-cm median drop in altitude (range 33–129 cm).

Bottom Line: Turns were triggered through the direct muscular stimulus of either of the basalar muscles.We characterized the response times, success rates, and free-flight trajectories elicited by our neural control systems in remotely controlled beetles.We believe this type of technology will open the door to in-flight perturbation and recording of insect flight responses.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California at Berkeley Berkeley, CA, USA.

ABSTRACT
We demonstrated the remote control of insects in free flight via an implantable radio-equipped miniature neural stimulating system. The pronotum mounted system consisted of neural stimulators, muscular stimulators, a radio transceiver-equipped microcontroller and a microbattery. Flight initiation, cessation and elevation control were accomplished through neural stimulus of the brain which elicited, suppressed or modulated wing oscillation. Turns were triggered through the direct muscular stimulus of either of the basalar muscles. We characterized the response times, success rates, and free-flight trajectories elicited by our neural control systems in remotely controlled beetles. We believe this type of technology will open the door to in-flight perturbation and recording of insect flight responses.

No MeSH data available.