The first part of the video would seem to show that initial reports of the experiment’s success were overblown—the bug is pretty much just switched on and off, tethered to a string like so many unlucky June bugs. The experiments do get quite a bit more advanced, with enough fairly fine directional control to show that flying one of these beetles around like an R/C plane isn’t out of the questions.
In these videos the beetle is never fully untethered, and I imagine such a demonstration would look a bit less like an “enhanced experimentation technique” and more like a small-scale air-disaster. The most important question won’t be relevant to our generation(s), but the next: CYBORG DEATH BEETLES? The new HotWheels? [Technology Review—Thanks, Robert]