The research team of Professor Shyam Gollakota at the University of Washington is developing a service that uses nocturnal insects to carry electronic devices less than 0.28g.
Small insects can cross narrow places and fly much longer than any drone. In environmental monitoring, microphones and light detection devices are attached to a sensor platform that is less than a cent coin size. With a low-power board, the battery lasts several years, so it is best for long-term monitoring out of reach.
The key to this structure is the release system. To make fabrication light and simple, the small sensor uses a small magnetic pin. When a signal is sent wirelessly, a current is generated in the coil wound around the pin, and a magnetic field acts on it, causing the device to fall. This device is small enough to be easily carried by a moth.
In any case, it is expected that insects can move to every corner of the ecosystem, and long-lasting sensors can bring interesting data to researchers in the field. The research is ongoing with support from the National Science Foundation, and the research was published at Mobicom 2020. Related information can be found here .