Robotics

Insect-inspired AI for autonomous robots

Small autonomous mobile robots, such as drones, rovers, and legged robots, promise to perform a wide range of tasks, from autonomously monitoring crops in greenhouses to last-kilometer delivery. These applications require ...

Energy & Green Tech

Turning hazelnut shells into potential renewable energy source

Biomass is attracting growing interest from researchers as a source of renewable, sustainable, and clean energy. It can be converted into bio-oil by thermochemical methods, such as gasification, liquefaction, and pyrolysis, ...

Robotics

First steerable catheter developed for brain surgery

A team of engineers and physicians has developed a steerable catheter that for the first time will give neurosurgeons the ability to steer the device in any direction they want while navigating the brain's arteries and blood ...

Robotics

Robots that mimic the natural world

Mosquitoes on Mars, metal birds flocking like pigeons and hoverflies with your lunch. Robots are copying nature.

Robotics

Using drones to reduce disease-spreading mosquito populations

Vector-borne diseases are illnesses that can be transmitted to humans by blood-feeding insects, such as mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. Mosquitoes are known to contribute to the spread of a number of vector-borne diseases, including ...

Robotics

A robot to track and film flying insects

Flying insects have developed effective strategies for navigating in natural environments. However, the experimental study of these strategies remains challenging due to the small size of insects and their high speed of motion: ...

Robotics

Novel flying robot mimics rapid insect flight

A novel insect-inspired flying robot, developed by TU Delft researchers from the Micro Air Vehicle Laboratory (MAVLab), is presented in Science (14 September 2018). Experiments with this first autonomous, free-flying and ...

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Insect

Insects (Class Insecta) are arthropods, having a hard exoskeleton, a three-part body (head, thorax, and abdomen), three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae. They are the most diverse group of animals on the planet and include approximately 30 gladiator and icebug, 35 Zoraptera, 150 snakefly, 200 silverfish, 300 alderfly, 300 webspinner, 350 jumping bristletail, 550 scorpionfly, 600 Strepsiptera, 1,200 caddisfly, 1,700 stonefly, 1,800 earwig, 2,000 flea, 2,200 mantis, 2,500 mayfly, 3,000 louse, 3,000 walking stick, 4,000 cockroach, 4,000 lacewing, 4,000 termite, 5,000 dragonfly, 5,000 thrips, 5,500 booklouse, 20,000 cricket, grasshopper, and locust, 82,000 true bug, 110,000 ant, bee, sawfly, and wasp, 120,000 true fly, 170,000 butterfly and moth, and 360,000 beetle species described to date. The number of extant species is estimated at between six and ten million, with over a million species already described. Insects represent more than half of all known living organisms and potentially represent over 90% of the differing life forms on Earth. Insects may be found in nearly all environments, although only a small number of species occur in the oceans, a habitat dominated by another arthropod group, the crustaceans.

Adult modern insects range in size from a 0.139 mm (0.00547 in) fairyfly (Dicopomorpha echmepterygis) to a 56.7-centimetre (22.3 in) long stick insect (Phobaeticus chani). The heaviest documented present-day insect was 70 g (2½ oz) Giant Weta, though the Goliath beetles Goliathus goliatus, Goliathus regius and Cerambycid beetles such as Titanus giganteus hold the title for some of the largest species in general.

The largest known extinct insect is a kind of dragonfly, Meganeura.

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