DARPA Thursdays: Beetle Cameras & Nerve Gas
Researchers are designing tiny generators that can fit on beetles and generate electricity from the kinetic movement of the beetle’s fluttering wings. They’ve already had a successful trial on a green june bug and hope to use the generators to power small cameras or sensors or other items. Seems an intriguing idea to have an all seeing army of drone bugs monitoring an area or being sent into dangerous zones. However, it’s also difficult for me to imagine it being very effective. You’d have to have so many of the little things with cameras so that they’d be effective it might not be worth the cost of the equipment or whatever labor is involved in getting it attached to them. Still, it’s a very interesting development of technology. (Photo via creative commons)
DARPA also hopes to fight dangerous chemicals with more chemicals. They are hoping that some application of butyrylcholinesterase can reduce the effectiveness of toxic agents. An enzyme found naturally in the human body, so otherwise harmless, the goal is that it would bind with the nerve gas agent and prevent it from entering the bloodstream.