Dragonflies have an insane ability to change directions and kill prey, according to new research highlighted in a report by Natalie Angier for the New York Times.
“One research team has determined that the nervous system of a dragonfly displays an almost human capacity for selective attention, able to focus on a single prey as it flies amid a cloud of similarly fluttering insects, just as a guest at a party can attend to a friend’s words while ignoring the background chatter,” the report says.
The report goes on to say that much of the scientific research happening on dragonflies is founded by the military, which sees the deadly insect as a potential breaking point for future drone technology.
In the 1970s, the CIA designed a flying robot to look like a dragonfly. It was never produced, because they had trouble with the tricky, but important flying part.
And researchers at Georgia Tech, supported by $US1 million from the Air Force, have also been working to develop dragonfly-like drones.
In the trials highlighted by the Times piece, dragonflies killed 95% of their targets in a 30 minute period. And you thought Obama’s drone program was deadly.
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