Research Interests: invertebrate vision, neural control of flight, multi-electrode arrays, neural interfaces, high density neural recording.Job Interests: Academic/Industry R&D
Implantable Microengineered Neural Interfaces for Studying and Controlling Insects [BPN571]
Our goal is to control the flight of an insect by hijacking its sensory systems. Although significant funding has gone into developing micro air vehicles (MAVs, wingspan< 15cm), flying insects still significantly outperform the most sophisticated flying robots in efficiency, flight time, stability and maneuverability. The restrictions that such a small spatial scale places on the amount of energy that can be stored on-board and on actuator efficiency, means this gap is expected to continue for some years to come. We are therefore pursuing a novel MAV design that uses an actual flying insect. We aim to produce small insect backpacks capable of receiving commands remotely and providing power to a combination of neural and optical stimulators. The patterns of stimulation will allow us to trick the insects motor-sensory system into responding to fictitious self-movements. We aim to use these ‘ghost’ stimuli to remote-control the insect’s flight while at the same time capitalizing on their remarkable natural flying abilities.