Since the dawn of drones, people have used them for lots of things – recording video for movies; delivering takeaways or vital medical supplies; some drones (like the one pictured) have even been trained to intercept other drones and disable them with nets.
"Nature really blows our human-made odor sensors out of the water... By using an actual moth antenna with Smellicopter, we’re able to get the best of both worlds: the sensitivity of a biological organism on a robotic platform where we can control its motion."
Melanie Anderson, a UW doctoral student in mechanical engineering
A major advantage of using moth antennae to guide the drone to a smell source over more traditional methods is its ability to operate independently of GPS. This would make the drones particularly practical in situations where an external signal is hard to reach, such as inside mines, vents, or pipes.