Wii and iPod technology help in study of Malayan colugos

A flying lemur - Image 1It seems that man has harbored a desire to defy gravity ever since. Though the Wright Brothers were interested in designing and flying the first successful airplane, scientists these days are studying the principles behind the lemur’s ability to fly, and they may have pinned it down, thanks to some Wii and iPod-related technology. More on this flighty topic after the jump.

A Malaysian colugo with an accelerometer backpack - Image 1How would you like to have a high-tech backpack strapped to your back all day? The Malayan colugos from the rainforests of Singapore probably don’t, either, but they don’t really have much choice in the matter. You see, scientist Andrew Spence and his team of researchers have equipped the creatures with sensing backpacks in order to study and document the animals’ aeronautical abilities.

What’s interesting to note is that these backpacks appear to be a scientific hybrid patterned after the technology of the Nintendo Wii and the Apple iPod: Spence and his colleagues reportedly made use of accelerometers similar to those found in Nintendo’s console, plus memory chips typically found in the iPod.

Spence and his team of researchers believe that their research could glean insights into the behavior and the abilities of these colugos, insights which could possibly come in handy for aeronautical engineers in designing flexible winged aircraft, such as hang gliders or micro-air vehicles.

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