Canada markets open in 2 hours 20 minutes
  • S&P/TSX

    20,173.35
    +8.39 (+0.04%)
     
  • S&P 500

    4,401.46
    -20.84 (-0.47%)
     
  • DOW

    35,058.52
    -85.79 (-0.24%)
     
  • CAD/USD

    0.7955
    +0.0020 (+0.25%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    71.99
    +0.34 (+0.47%)
     
  • BTC-CAD

    50,686.69
    +3,161.75 (+6.65%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    944.20
    +67.97 (+7.76%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,798.40
    -1.40 (-0.08%)
     
  • RUSSELL 2000

    2,191.83
    -25.09 (-1.13%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.2340
    0.0000 (0.00%)
     
  • NASDAQ futures

    14,973.50
    +25.75 (+0.17%)
     
  • VOLATILITY

    19.01
    +1.43 (+8.13%)
     
  • FTSE

    7,005.28
    +9.20 (+0.13%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    27,581.66
    -388.56 (-1.39%)
     
  • CAD/EUR

    0.6736
    +0.0025 (+0.37%)
     

Scientists attached an electronic backpack to a genetically modified dragonfly and turned it into a drone

At a certain point it becomes really difficult to scale down machines. A tiny drone can only be so tiny.

Scientists at Draper have come up with a solution: make a drone out of a dragonfly.

Researchers at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) genetically modified a dragonfly to make the nerve endings in its spinal cord light-sensitive. The team at Draper then attached a backpack, powered by a tiny solar panel, that can control the dragonfly remotely with flashes of light. It allows them to send the insect where they want.

Is the experiment cruel to dragonflies? Entomologists believe it’s pretty unlikely that insects “feel” pain in the way we do.

And the technology has some important applications. For example, it could be used to replace bees that farmers depend on (but which are dying out around the world at an alarming rate) or be used to monitor the health of beehives in a novel way. Cyborg insects could also be used as the next generation of surveillance equipment.

Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief, our free daily newsletter with the world’s most important and interesting news.

More stories from Quartz:

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting