A Wearable Wireless Platform for Visually Stimulating Small Flying Insects

Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), 2014 36th Annual International Conference (Podium Presentation) 30 Aug 2014

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Linking neurons and muscles to their roles in behavior requires not only the ability to measure their response during unrestrained movement but also the ability to stimulate them and observe the behavioral results. Current wireless stimulation technologies can be carried by rodent-sized animals and very large insects. However, the mass and volume of these devices make them impractical for studying smaller animals like insects. Here we present a battery-powered electronics platform suitable to be carried on a flying locust (2.7 g). The device has an IR-based (infrared) receiver, can deliver optical or electrical stimulation, occupies a volume of 0.1 cm3, and weighs ~280 mg. We show the device is capable of powering two white SMD light emitting diodes (LEDs) for ~4 min and can be recharged in ~20 min. We demonstrate that our system shows no crosstalk with an IR-based Vicon tracking system. The entire package is made from commercial off-the-shelf components and requires no microfabrication.

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