在2018年時，喬治亞理工學院（Georgia Institute of Technology）的助理教授薩阿德·巴姆拉（Saad Bhamla）在他家後院注意到一隻小到幾乎看不見的昆蟲正在小便，在牠的尾部會先出現一顆水滴，然後突然迅速的發射出去，他認為這種昆蟲一定是利用非常巧妙且創新的物理原理，達到有效率的排泄方式。巴姆拉認為，這項發現或許可以啟發以昆蟲為靈感的節能自動清潔結構（self-cleaning structures）和軟式機器人（soft robotic engines）的工程學設計，但要實際運用在生活、工程等領域中，仍有一段距離要走。
Why is this study important? What biomimetic research or applications might this research find be applied in the future?
This study shows how sap-sucking insects release their pee. These insects are important to study because they transfer diseases to plants and cause loss and damage to agriculture.
I had studied how mammals have constant pee time. I always saw peeing with a jet as universal, but this study shows that it is not a good option for very small insects. Those insects would waste energy to create a jet. Instead they catapult drops away.
Are there any inferred research limitations for this study?
The researchers showed how they removed the hairs from the stylus and the drop traveled at much lower speed. That is interesting and surprising. How do insects use hairs to measure the speed of the drop?
They showed that drops are super-propulsive, but its amazing that such a small device can throw the drops at high speed. It would be interesting to build a device that can replicate the accurate catapulting of the drop. I am surprised it is so easy to propel a small drop with such a small catapult. To fully believe their result, I would like to see a small version of the device. Previous papers they cited involved a very large surface, but the insect uses a very small sharp object to propel the drop.
How should ordinary people correctly understand this research?
This study is fundamentally about manipulating small amounts of fluid efficiently. It can have applications in microfluidic devices such as ones that we do blood test and saliva tests.
These insects are everywhere. it seems strange that they throw drops, but this action is actually beneficial to them because it saves them energy.
This is a great example of curiosity in everyday things leads to a very interesting result that makes sense.
In the United States, such research can be misunderstood. Some people might think that it is wasteful to study insects peeing. For example there are senators in the US that criticize scientists who study such things.
But whether it is wasteful depends on if their result is interesting or not. I was surprised and satisfied about the result of this project.