Beetle-mounted camera streams insect adventures

Photo: BBC)

BUZZ Fam, here’s something that you don’t see every day. Researchers have developed a tiny wireless camera that is light enough to be carried by live beetles. Why? To see things from the Beetles view of course! Pretty cool right?

So here’s how it happened; the team at the University of Washington in the US drew inspiration from the insects to create its low-powered camera system. Its beetle-cam can stream up to five frames per second of low-resolution, black and white footage to a nearby smartphone

The entire camera rig weighs just 250 milligrams, which is about a tenth of the weight of a playing card.

The image at the top right was captured by the camera on the beetle, which is stood next to the Rubik's cube
Beetle eye view (Photo: BBC)

While the sensor itself is low resolution, capturing just 160 by 120 pixel images, it is mounted on a mechanical arm that can shift from side to side.

That allows the camera to look side to side and scan the environment, just like a beetle, and capture a higher-resolution panoramic image.

The the camera was able to operate for six hours on a full charge.

And no, the beetles were not harmed and “lived for at least a year” after the end of the experiment.

The researchers used what they had learned to produce an independent insect-sized camera robot.