Mosquito-inspired drone lights up and avoids crash

Apparently mosquitoes have some special skill set that enables them to fly in the dark without bumping into objects. Researchers have now found out how these pesky insects are able to do this and you used that knowledge to build a sensor that may keep helicopters safe one day. Watch this short video of a mosquito-inspired drone that lights up to avoid crashing into obstacles such as walls.

The team of researchers focussed on the organ that only some insects have. Shaped like an upside-down umbrella, the organ contains an array of about 12,000 cells that are arranged in a circle around the base of each antenna. It can detect the slightest movement in the antenna. The researchers observed and recorded the Culex quinquefasciatus, a mosquito that transmits Zika and West Nile viruses, is as it flew at varying distances from the ground and a wall.

Mosquito-Inspired Drone Lights Up And Avoids Crash 1

The researchers studied the thousands of detailed images to find out how the air moves off the insect's long and slender wings and how that airflow changes as the mosquito flies closer to a surface. You can see how this works in the video below.

Mosquito-inspired drone avoids obstacles when it's dark

YouTube video

According to an article in Science, a team of scientists then used a computer simulation to analyze the airflow that is generated by the wings in a downward draft. The dress gets disrupted as the insect moves closer to the surface. As the air bounces back from the surface it affects how the air moves around the antenna warning the mosquito of a potential collision.

The team then installed a similar sensor on a very small drone and also mounted indicator lights that light up when the sensor detects a surface. The result is the mosquito-inspired drone that is able to detect surfaces all on its own even in the dark. The sensor is very energy-efficient and lightweight, weighing only about 9.2 g. This technology could help drones and other flying aircraft when delivering packages or completing inspections of transmission towers or bridges. Furthermore, the team sees no reason why this technology would not work on a full-size helicopter as well.

What do you think about new drone technology like this? Let us know in the comments below.

Droneu Marketing Banner Ad 1

Discover more from DroneXL

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.


Proposed legislation threatens your ability to use drones for fun, work, and safety. The Drone Advocacy Alliance is fighting to ensure your voice is heard in these critical policy discussions.Join us and tell your elected officials to protect your right to fly.

Drone Advocacy Alliance
Follow us on Google News!

Get your Part 107 Certificate

Pass the test and take to the skies with the Pilot Institute. We have helped thousands of people become airplane and commercial drone pilots. Our courses are designed by industry experts to help you pass FAA tests and achieve your dreams.

pilot institute dronexl

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved. The content, images, and intellectual property on this website are protected by copyright law. Reproduction or distribution of any material without prior written permission from is strictly prohibited. For permissions and inquiries, please contact us first.

FTC: is an Amazon Associate and uses affiliate links that can generate income from qualifying purchases. We do not sell, share, rent out, or spam your email.

Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

Articles: 3642

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

en_USEnglish (United States)