Exploring the incredible flight control techniques of fruit flies
Today’s Video of the Day from the Penn State College of Engineering describes how fruit flies rely on eye movements to coordinate their flight. The researchers discovered that the eyes of the fruit fly react four times faster than its body or wings.
“We’ve shown that their eyes can control and stabilize their vision better than we originally thought, by reducing motion blur,” said study first author and doctoral student Benjamin Cellini. “Like in sports, they teach baseball players to follow the ball with their eyes to reduce blur and increase batting performance.”
Fruit flies use eye movements to control their flight with a reaction speed that is about 30 times faster than the blink of an eye. With a new understanding of this incredible ability, the scientists will apply the rapid flight control techniques of fruit flies to the field of mechanical engineering.
“If you are able to study flies doing what they do best – flying – you can find some incredible engineering solutions that already exist in biology,” said Cellini.
Video Credit: Penn State Engineering