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Resonant Fly Immobiliser

To immobilise flies by resonance
  (+32, -1)(+32, -1)(+32, -1)
(+32, -1)
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Flies are complicated but energy-efficient. A spring-like device made of a protein called resilin allows their tiny wings to oscillate to and fro efficiently at their resonant frequency.

Resonance is very efficient: you can push a child on a swing with very little effort if you time your pushes just right; likewise, the fly can fly with relatively little effort by matching its muscular contractions to the resonanant frequency of its resilin-sprung wings.

But resonance can also be easily disrupted: push the swing just slightly out of phase, and its motion will be sapped and will fade away.

Where is all this leading us? Take one sensitive directional microphone, some cunning software to detect and then shift the phase of the received sound, and a directional speaker system to reproduce the phase-shifted sound and play it back in the direction it came from.

Aim the apparatus at an annoying bluebottle. The slightly-out-of-phase sound waves will gradually sap energy from the fly's wings, and it will fall to the floor exhausted and bewilderfused, where it can be swatted at your convenience.

The entire package is conveniently embodied in a pistol-like device. Brought to you by Max Industries.

MaxwellBuchanan, May 04 2007

[link]






       <swat>
po, May 04 2007
  

       Bzzt.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 04 2007
  

       I'm assuming some dwell time required between target acquisition and "exhausted and bewilderfused" state.   

       Holding on a moving target with a pistol for more than a few seconds may be a problem. Maybe not if area of effect is adaquate. Is there an alternative?
normzone, May 04 2007
  

       I like to use a squirtgun to hunt flies. This would much more high-tech. [+]
baconbrain, May 04 2007
  

       [Norm'z one] I think we have two things going for us here.   

       a) Neither the microphone nor the speaker will be tightly directional, so the tracking needn't be perfect.   

       b) A pistol embodiment will help in tracking the fly. It may be a challenge, but so much the better.   

       c) Flies operate in the hundreds of Hertz. Hence, signal acquisition is likely to take at most a few tenths of a second.   

       d) By the same token, resonant motion damping is likely to be fairly fast - I'm guessing a few hundred wing beats, or on the order of a second.   

       To bring down a golden eagle with this technology would, for obvious reasons, be trickier.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 04 2007
  

       I'm a friend of the humble fly,,,, but I do have a rug for those who hunt anything.
xenzag, May 04 2007
  

       A bun for 'bewilderfused'. [+]
nuclear hobo, May 04 2007
  

       I want one for hornets. (+) with a laser sight.   

       "Bewilderfused" - that's conwildering, but I like it.   

       However, a slightly out of phase sound at your pistol does not mean a slightly out of phase sound at Mr.Bottle.
Ling, May 04 2007
  

       have to be some sort of tai chi master to use the thing.   

       Also, My guess is that flys can shift their frequency to line up with resonance, not what was resonance. They are themselves some very cunning software.   

       The adventures of Speed engineer and Resonance Boy, is an idea that has crossed my mind a few times.   

       A squirtgun to hunt wasps is viable in colder weather. they get colder and the water hanging off of them makes them fall. Highly effective with a super soaker.
MercuryNotMars, May 05 2007
  

       //a slightly out of phase sound at your pistol does not mean a slightly out of phase sound at Mr.Bottle// So, we include ultrasonic pulses in the emitted sound, and measure the range by echolocation. To distinguish the fly from the background, we look for Doppler effects on the ultrasound, where those Doppler effects shift with the same frequency as the buzzing sound. Hence, we now have precise range information and can compensate the phase-shifting accordingly.   

       //My guess is that flies can shift their frequency to line up with resonance, not what was resonance// I don't think flies will have encountered a resonance weapon before, so I doubt their software will handle it. It certainly ought to throw them off balance. If needs be, we can do something that involves stochastic fractals, obviously.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 06 2007
  

       There's no flies on [MaxwellBuchanan]
Ling, May 06 2007
  

       Well, whatever you do, don't ever, ever, ever cross the anti-resonance stochastic fractal streams.   

       That would be bad.
NotTheSharpestSpoon, May 07 2007
  

       Hi Mr. Spoon, have been missing you!
xandram, May 07 2007
  

       Well, he's been on Button Moon.
marklar, May 07 2007
  

       What the bewilderfused glowing tramp said, [+]
theleopard, May 08 2007
  

       It should work for mosquitos too. Presumably if you start off at the fly's resonant frequency and then gradually increase your 'driving' frequency, you'd be able to force the fly to operate at higher and higher frequencies until it explodes.
hippo, May 08 2007
  

       //I'm with 2fries though in wanting one for wasps// I think (along the same lines as Hippo) that one size should fit all.   

       I am quadruply intrigued by the prospect of upspeeding the wingbeats by resonance. I'm not sure it would work, alas. But if it did, then a low- frequency version of the system might be capable of getting chickens, and even penguins, startlingly airborne. (Maybe not, though - they don't use spring-like resonances in their wing mechanisms.)   

       However, a more advanced version of the system making use of standing waves and complex phasing ought even to be able to steer insects quite precisely. You would then, in effect, have a remote control unit for bluebottles.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 08 2007
  

       //Presumably if you start off at the fly's resonant frequency and then gradually increase your 'driving' frequency, you'd be able to force the fly to operate at higher and higher frequencies until it explodes.//   

       Ah, the pleasant bzzzzZZZZZWWWWWVVVVVVVEEEP! *pop*s of summer...
shapu, May 08 2007
  

       Need one for mosquitoes! Bun as well for using "bewilderfused". +
twitch, May 08 2007
  

       Flys are highly adaptable. The more times you try to swat a fly the better at evading they become.   

       I think you have hit on a moment of Brilliance working with a cooperative creature. A chicken might just want to work with you to be able to fly.   

       One thing that might be something to research out that I heard once in passing is that noise cancellation equiptment makes up for powering the speakers by increased machine efficiency. My guess is that the most you can contribute to the flying ability is the inefficiency that is lost in making sound. If chickens are really noisy it just might work.   

       I don't doubt that you could help out more than the noise energy lost. I am at the moment in over my head. I am just remembering that technically their weight is at all times supported by their wings. Chickens would probably have a limit before they wear out no matter how favorable the sound.
MercuryNotMars, May 09 2007
  

       Well i'm a human fly
it's spelt F-L-Y
I say buzz,buzz,buzz,and it's just becuzz...
I'm a human fly and i don't know why
I got ninety six tears in my ninety six eyes
  

       I got a garbage brain,it's drivin' me insane
And i don't like your ride,so push that pesticide
And baby i won't care,cuz baby i don't scare
Cuz i'm a reborn maggot using germ warfare

Rockin'....zzzzz
  

       I'm a human fly
It's spelt F-L-Y
I say buzz,buzz,buzz,and it's just becuzz...
I'm a unzipped fly and i don't know why
and i don't know,but i say
  

       buzz...ride tonight
and i say buzz...rocket ride
And i say buzz...i don't know why
I don know i Just don't know why?
  

       The Cramps
normzone, May 09 2007
  

       //My guess is that the most you can contribute to the flying ability is the inefficiency that is lost in making sound.// Not necessarily - you are talking about putting sound energy in, but the sound can be very loud (much greater than the output sound). But even so, it might work with resonance.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 09 2007
  

       //My guess is that the most you can contribute to the flying ability is the inefficiency that is lost in making sound.// Not necessarily - you are talking about putting sound energy in, but the sound can be very loud (much greater than the output sound). And in any event, a small input at the resonant frequency might have a significant effect.   

       Sadly, though, chickens do not rely much on elastic resonance of their wings, and hence there will be little chance of this working. Not sure about penguins - I'm waiting to get one for tests.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 09 2007
  

       Record the fly with a cassette deck, and play the sound back slightly out of tune. Energy will be lost through the Beating effect.
WilliamSharkey, May 11 2007
  

       //Record the fly with a cassette deck, and play the sound back slightly out of tune.// You mean some kind of slightly-out-of- phase resonance? Damn - why didn't I think of that?
MaxwellBuchanan, May 11 2007
  

       Next: a type of fly specially trained to carry a blob of resin, and to seek out ants and use the resin to glue them to the floor. It'll be called the resin-fly ant immobiliser.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 11 2007
  

       When I read the title I thought it was something you aimed at the crotch of your pants.
elhigh, May 15 2007
  

       Max Industries can accept no liability for any injury, however amusing, sustained through inappropriate utilificition of this product.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 15 2007
  

       I like this idea. I tried to make a device to amplify a fly's resonance frequency, therefore seriously screwing it up. It didn't work. Still, I do not have the resources needed to make it work, so the theory is unflawed.
Shadow Phoenix, Oct 03 2007
  

       That philosophy sounds familiar. Do you work for my engineering department?
normzone, Oct 03 2007
  
      
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