Researchers Test ‘Bug Cam’ as Newest Search and Rescue Tool

"Hybrid insect" technology is being designed at the University of Michigan.


 
 

JAMES ORR, The Telegraph | | Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Minute cameras and microphones mounted on the backs of beetles will help emergency services find victims trapped or buried underneath rubble.

Researchers aim to power a tiny "backpack" of sensors by "scavenging" energy from the insect's own wing movements to help create a lasting power source.

The bugs can then be released into collapsed buildings or other areas seen as too dangerous for human rescue teams.

Professor Khalil Najafi, who is developing the new technology, said the insect's own kinetic energy would act as a battery for a variety of communication equipment.

He said: "Through energy scavenging, we could potentially power cameras, microphones and other sensors and communication equipment that an insect could carry aboard a tiny backpack

"We could send these 'bugged' bugs into dangerous or enclosed environments where we would not want humans to go."

The "hybrid insect" technology is being designed by a team of electrical and computer engineers at the University of Michigan in the United States.

The project is funded by the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and is entitled the Hybrid Insect Micro Electromechanical Systems program.

Researchers have already developed a device able to generate power from the wing motion of a Green June beetle during tethered flight.

By mounting a miniature generator on each wing of an insect, scientists expect to be able to achieve enough power to operate onboard cameras or microphones - allowing the bug to "gather vital information from hazardous environments".

A recent report by the team states that their "final prototype will be mounted on a live beetle, and tested during its untethered flight" next year.

Prof Najafi added: "One of the main constraints in the development of Micro-Air-Vehicles (MAVs) is the limited weight and volume reserved on the device for a power supply.

"Energy scavenging from an insect's high frequency body movements hold great advantages such as unlimited source of power over the insect's lifetime, and no need for recharging."



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, USAR

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Image Trend: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

ImageTrend just challenged NEMSIS TAC and a couple others.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Where in the World of EMS is A.J.?

A.J. Heightman participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in a big way!
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Details on Discipline Released in D.C. Investigation

Interim fire chief claims punishment was not severe enough.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Kentucky Firefighters Recovering from Injuries

One of the four remains in critical condition.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Numerous Rescues during Arizona Flooding

Severe flooding across the region prompted several rescues.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Hiker Rescue

Injured hiker spent three hours in a crevice.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Airlift at Swiss Train Derailment

Helicopters used to help reach the injured.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >