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Miniature robots could be good spies, but researchers now are experimenting with insect cyborgs or "cybugs" that could work even better.
Scientists can already control the flight of real moths using implanted devices.
The military and spy world no doubt would love tiny, live camera-wielding versions of Predator drones that could fly undetected into places where no human could ever go to snoop on the enemy. Developing such robots has proven a challenge so far, with one major hurdle being inventing an energy source for the droids that is both low weight and high power. Still, evidence that such machines are possible is ample in nature in the form of insects, which convert biological energy into flight.
It makes sense to pattern robots after insects — after all, they must be doing something right, seeing as they are the most successful animals on the planet, comprising roughly 75 percent of all animal species known to humanity. Indeed, scientists have patterned robots after insects and other animals for decades — to mimic cockroach wall-crawling, for instance, or the grasshopper's leap.