Scientists have more than a dozen years looking at the behavior of dragonflies - one of the oldest insects. Researchers have found an incredibly effective brain function of these predators. They plan to use the algorithm of its work as a part of highly effective anti-missile defense systems.
According to biologists, dragonflies have existed for about 325 million years, and during this time they have not changed. In fact, these seemingly harmless insects — one of the most sensitive predators in nature. The rate of destruction of victims of the dragonfly is 95%. This efficiency is possible due to the extraordinary work of the brain, which at first seemed to researchers very simple.
Dragonfly never chases the production itself. It calculates a direct course of interception, anticipating the location of the victim in space. Scientists at the Sandia National Laboratory have created several robotic dragonflies and duplicated the insect brain using neural networks, achieving a high degree of imitation of the original.
Interest in these insects is caused by the fact that the reaction of the dragonfly to the victim is only 50 milliseconds — six times faster than a person has time to blink. Algorithm "guidance" provides a signal to the neuron, which explains such an instant reaction.
Modern missile defense systems use large computing power and perform complex calculations. The research is planned to be adapted for the military industry. The main problem is a significant difference in the speed of supersonic missiles and dragonflies. But even in the case of inefficiency of such solutions, the study of the dragonfly brain in the future can help in the development of unmanned vehicle control systems and applications that use artificial intelligence.