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May 11, 2022

NeuroMechFly: A digital twin of Drosophila

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, robotics/AI

EPFL scientists have developed a digital model of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, that realistically simulates the movements of the animal. The twin is a big step towards reverse engineering the neuromechanical control of animal behavior, and developing bioinspired robots.

“We used two kinds of data to build NeuroMechFly,” says Professor Pavan Ramdya at EPFL’s School of Life Sciences. “First, we took a real fly and performed a CT scan to build a morphologically realistic biomechanical . The second source of data were the real limb movements of the fly, obtained using pose estimation software that we’ve developed in the last couple of years that allow us to precisely track the movements of the animal.”

Ramdya’s group, working with the group of Professor Auke Ijspeert at EPFL’s Biorobotics Laboratory, has published a paper in Nature Methods showcasing the first ever accurate “digital twin” of the fly Drosophila melanogaster, dubbed “NeuroMechFly”.

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