Study explores moth brains to improve drone flight

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Manduca sexta hovering to feed from a flower, which requires precision and agility.

Manduca sexta hovering to feed from a flower, which requires precision and agility.

Insects’ brains are small and limited. Yet they fly with speed, grace and accuracy, responding quickly to changing conditions and zooming away from predators.

Insects’ brains are small and limited. Yet they fly with speed, grace and accuracy, responding quickly to changing conditions and zooming away from predators.

Thanks to recent advances in fields including computational neuroscience and machine learning, researchers are now studying these neurological systems to develop the next generation of smart, agile and highly adaptive autonomous aerial drones.

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Cornell is a privately endowed research university and a partner of the State University of New York. As the federal land-grant institution in New York State, we have a responsibility—unique within the Ivy League—to make contributions in all fields of knowledge in a manner that prioritizes public en...

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