A recent study proved that smart hawk moths slow down their brain activity to perfect night vision. The discovery enables scientists to use the same technology for the improvement of the mechanisms of military drones and robots.
Even though humanity tends to reject them because they are frightfully ugly, hawk moths prove their intelligence can compensate against all possible prejudices. The most recent experiment conducted by scientists at National Science Foundation and Air Force Office of Scientific Research shows that hawk moths can slow down their brain activity to perfect their night vision.
The study was carried out using different light conditions. The moth was placed within the same room with a plastic flower that was moving at different velocity rates. Scientific data indicates that the darker the room became, the slower the brain activity of the hawk moth became.
Data showed there was a small lag in the movements of the moth when the light in the room was dimmed. Nevertheless, the moth was still capable of seeing the flower and even of pollinating it in the dark.
Hawk moths may lower their nervous system, but this does not mean that their wingbeats per second rate slows down, as well. Researchers have concluded that the moth moves just as fast in the dark as it does in daytime. The only difference was registered when the horizontal movements of the flower were increased, too.
The natural abilities of the hawk moth have captured the attention of scientists as the latter believe these insects can help them improve robot technology. More specifically, the National Science Foundation and Air Force Office of Scientific Research is interested in the methods they can use to perfect drone technology, based on these recent findings on moth behavior.
Other researches were also conducted in the past to study the flight tactics of the hawk moths. The insect was confined in a small room with vertical luminescent straws, while experts studied its flight. Light conditions were alternated to see whether the moth can adapt to new conditions or not.
The team of researchers found out that the moth calculates its trajectory 1km ahead when light conditions are normal. During night time, they move in round circles when faced with an unexpected obstacle, thus slowing down their speed. When lowering the speed is not possible, hawk moths use their inferior members to break abruptly.
The journal of Science has already introduced the findings of the experiment in their most recent number.
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