Moth Drives Robot (VIDEO)

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Scientists have developed a robot that can be driven by a moth.

An experiment by the University of Tokyo saw a small, two-wheeled robot be 'driven' by a male silkmoth in search of a pheromone given off by a female.

The moth was able to drive the robot by walking on a rotating ball.

The aim is to learn how moths track pheromones, and use that data for robots designed to search out environmental spills.

"It is hoped that these can be applied to other autonomous robots so they can track down smells, and subsequent sources, of environmental spills and leaks when fitted with highly sensitive sensors," said the Institute of Physics.

The paper describing the experiment can be read in full here.

As Engadget notes, it is an extension of a similar project by Garnet Hertz in 2006 which saw a cockroach control a robot of its own.