There is a new project called DragonflEYE, where researchers are turning the fast-flying insect into a cyborg drone you can pilot remotely.
The dragonflies are fitted with a tiny backpack of electronic components that allow the researchers to communicate with the insects. In this case, however, the dragonflies have had their neurons genetically modified so that they are more sensitive to light, allowing the insects to be controlled using measured light pulses.
DragonflEYE is a collaboration between the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, with the former in charge of developing the backpack and the latter performing the genetic modifications and the succeeding experiments. These drones wrap optical fibres around the dragonfly’s nerve cords, allowing them to selectively target those neurons related to flight.
According to the researchers, using dragonflies in place of traditional drones can be advantageous, since they're smaller, lighter, and way stealthier than anything else that's manmade.
Learn more about DragonflEYE by watching the video below.