Attempting to Imitate insects' piloting abilities

It is not yet completely understood how flying insects adjust their flight altitudes and how they control their take offs and landings. Scientists aim to provide clues about how insects adjust the most appropriate distance from the ground during flight in their research. Researchers are currently studying the movement abilities of specially designed flying robots for this purpose. The French Scientific Research National Center is only one of the many centers involved in carrying out this study.

Important Plane Companies Research Small Insects

Flying insects have more advanced flying techniques than planes in many respects. They can tumble in the air, hover in one location for a long time and make sudden movements. They can automatically make the necessary adjustments according to variables like the wind and land on the ground with dramatic suddenness. Planes on the other hand do not have such sharp maneuvering abilities.

All of these perfect characteristics flying insects possess has had an influence on many researchers. Even though scientific experience and techniques are very advanced today, even the most current technology is still limited in understanding the secret of the flying techniques of insects; indeed  the technology humanity has is still very far away from being able to apply the flight abilities of these insects to the real world. Boeing and Airbus, companies that are among the leaders in aviation technology, as well as NASA and the US Air Force devote significant financial resources to research insect flight’ characteristics in order to advance the technology they use.

High Technological System in Insects

While insects are flying, the image of the ground beneath them flows backwards to its own field of vision depending on the insect’s height from the ground and its speed with respect to the surface. As the insect rises above the ground, the surface below seems to be moving slower (from the insects point-of-view). This image flow is known as “optical flow.” The driver who steps on the brakes stops his car according to this principle. Long distance jumpers also determine their take off according to this principle. This adjustment, made by conscious human beings using their minds, is also made by flying insects and birds. Flies and gannets make such an adjustment when they land on objects or dive under water, respectively speaking. They decrease their speed as they get closer to the landing spot. The ratio between the size of the image of the landing point on the retina and the size of the object increases as the flying creature gets closer to the landing point. When this ratio exceeds a certain value, the creature stops by “stepping on the brakes”. Hence, all flying insects and birds use the principle of “optical flow” during their take offs and landings.

With this important information, it is understood how insects adjust their relative positions depending on the location, but it is still not known how this information is interpreted by the insect and how it prevents it from crashing during flight.

Researchers think that insects have a “repeating” image system that provides image information about the past as a result of the latest research they have conducted. They named this system as “optical flow modifier.” Insects determine the ratio of height to ground speed by controlling their vertical elevation with this system. In order to test this system, researchers designed a micro helicopter that has the appearance of a fly. The control parts of this helicopter are based on the idea of an optical flow modifier. It has been observed that the robot is actually able to fly like a housefly in an impressive way. The robot was also very successful in take off, straight flight and landing.

The new findings serve to enlighten many points that were not previously explainable before about insects’ flight. With this research, it was also understood that insects descend with the wind blowing from the front, and rise with the wind blowing from the back. (Bio-inspired Flying Robot Sheds Light On Insect Piloting Abilities)

Important Questions To Be Asked

This research was conducted by Nicolas Franceschini, Franck Ruffier and Julien Serres from the French Scientific Research National Center together with the Marseille Mediterranean University. In addition, this research is being supported by the European Union. There are some important questions that need to be asked here:


  • How can it be explained that insects with no intelligence and consciousness fly and land according to the optical flow principle?
  • Who teaches this principle to living things?
  • How is it possible that insects can remember  images of the past?
  • Who makes the adjustments to this memory process, which scientists name as “optical flow modifier”?
  • How do a handful of cells, which are called the brain of insects, manage to behave according to the so-called principles of physics?

Evolutionist scientists are not able to give satisfactory answers to any of these questions. The only answer to these questions is that Almighty Allah is the One Who creates every being on the ground and in the sky, and determines their characteristics. Dr. Russell Brinkworth from the Biomimicry Image Laboratory in the University of Adelaide comments about the sight abilities of insects, which are clear evidences of Allah’s existence, as follows:

“When it comes to sight, even a small insect brain is superior to all of the artificial sight systems of today.”(Atlas August, edition 173)

English biologist J. Robin Wootton summarizes the superior features in the fly, which is one of the insects scientists like to examine the most, and the evolutionists’ dilemma about this, as follows:

“There is no other technological structure that can compete with fly wings.” (Robert G. Cook, Avian Visual Cognition, Department of Psychology Tufts University, Comparative Cognition Press, September 2001)

Scientists who were educated at the most reputable universities of the world and the European Union officials who support these research projects put a great effort into understanding the flight dynamics of insects. When the situation is like this, it is an offense to logic to claim that insects have come into existence by a series of coincidences. There is only one clear truth and that is; the flight techniques of insects that people try to understand by using advanced technologies are one of the clear evidences of creation.

Miracles Seen in Insects

Every characteristic that insects possess is a miracle. Some insects being able to flap their wings 600 times per minute, flying by using aerodynamic principles, possessing a natural gear box that provides a gradual speed in the air, being able to speed up and slow down suddenly, and being able to make sharp maneuvers are some examples of these miracles. The expertise of insects mentioned in this article during take off and landing is a link in this chain of miracles. Allah shows people who can ponder upon the uniqueness of His infinite intelligence and knowledge.


"Mankind! An example has been made, so listen to it carefully. Those whom you call upon besides Allah are not even able to create a single fly, even if they were to join together to do it. And if a fly steals something from them, they cannot get it back. How feeble are both the seeker and the sought!" (Surat al-Hajj, 73)

2011-08-27 17:33:30

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