Researchers Study Butterfly Flight With High-Speed Cameras

Posted on February 2, 2012

Insect Inspired Micro Air Vehicle Under Development at Harvard University

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University are studying butterfly's flight patterns with high-resolution cameras. Information used from the research - funded by U.S. defense agencies - will be used to make better micro aerial vehicles (MAVs) for reconnaissance and other missions. An insect-inspired flapping-wing MAV under development at Harvard University is pictured above.

Butterflies move much too quickly for someone to see butterly wing tactics clearly with the naked eye, so Tiras Lin, a Whiting School of Engineering undergraduate, working with graduate student Lingxiao Zheng, used high-speed, high-resolution videogrammetry to mathematically document the trajectory and body conformation of painted lady butterflies. They accomplished this with three video cameras capable of recording 3,000 one-megapixel images per second.

Take a look:

Photo: Robert J. Wood, associate professor, and Pratheev Sreetharan, Microrobotics Lab, Harvard University

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