Here Come the Cockroach Cyborgs ...

Scientists attach electrodes to control insects' movements

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 27, 2012 5:41 PM CDT
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(Newser) – It's not exactly a T-1000, but it is a cyborg—the melding of machine and ... cockroach. Scientists have created lightweight circuits that can be connected to cockroaches and allow the cockroach to be steered wirelessly, reports Raw Story. Electrodes attached to the cockroach's antenna can make it think there is an object in front, forcing it to turn left or right, and another electrode attached to the back of its abdomen can make it think it is being chased, causing it to move forward.

The North Carolina State University researchers say they originally thought about creating miniature robots, but found insects are much more robust, as they are already experts in surviving in tough conditions and maneuvering through tight spaces. "Ultimately, we think this will allow us to create a mobile web of smart sensors that uses cockroaches to collect and transmit information, such as finding survivors in a building that’s been destroyed by an earthquake," says one scientist.

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