Insect wing flap sensor

Venture Category: Scientific Instruments

Community: Sensorica

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Flies cleaned and amplified.mp3

Fruit flies sounds recorded with microphone and processed with Audacity.


The goal of this project is to create an instrument that records the buzzing of small insects.


When insects fly around they buzz. One can use a conventional microphone to record the buzzing sounds of larger insects, but not of very small insects, since the variation in air pressure that their wings create falls below the sensitivity threshold of these types of sensors. One option for tiny insects, such as Drosophila, is to use an optical tachometer, which uses light to detect the flapping of wings.

This device can then be used in scientific studies in entomology labs, as a STEM educational tool, and as a general tool to count and describe small insects. The frequency of wing flap in flight is characteristic to a given insect species. This device may allow for automatic identification of some small insects.

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  • Electronics (BCP prototype production)

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  • [Oct 28, 2020] First conclusive results with Arduino and QRD sensor

  • [Oct 19, 2020] First experiments

  • [Oct 13, 2020] Experimental bench created using Arduino and QRD sensor

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