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Researchers in Japan have managed to operate a radio-controlled model helicopter using software modelled on the brain of a fly.

The Institute for Physical and Chemical Research in Wako, Saitama Prefecture, announced yesterday it had accomplished the feat.

Researchers hope the discovery may help them develop a computer program that could process data in a way much the same as the human brain, Japan's Daily Yomiuri reports.

The program is based on a fly's optic nerve system. It motors the helicopter's speed, position and inclination every 0.03 seconds while a camera records the positions of a red spot and a green spot on the helicopter itself. The program can then change the device's position and speed.

According to the Daily Yomiuri, a human with ten hours of training can normally only manage to make a model helicopter hover for a few seconds. A computer with this software pre-programmed was able to fly the object easily.

This fly brain-based development will be demonstrated on Saturday. The Institute's Website can be found here. ®

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Daily Yomiuri article

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