Draper's Genetically Modified Cyborg DragonflEye Takes Flight

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel 

In January, we wrote about a cybernetic micro air vehicle under development at Draper called DragonflEye. DragonflEye consists of a living, slightly modified dragonfly that carries a small backpack of electronics. The backpack interfaces directly with the dragonfly's nervous system to control it, and uses tiny solar panels to harvest enough energy to power itself without the need for batteries. Draper showed us a nifty looking mock-up of what the system might look like a few months ago, but today, they've posted the first video of DragonflEye taking to the air. The unique thing about DragonflEye (relative to other cyborg insects) is that it doesn't rely on spoofing the insect's sensors or controlling its muscles, but instead uses optical electrodes to inject steering commands directly into the insect's nervous system, which has been genetically tweaked to accept them.