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Researchers turn cockroaches into remote controlled cyborgs

By Eric W. Dolan
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 16:35 EDT
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Cyborg cockroach screenshot
 
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Researchers at the University of North Carolina have discovered how to turn cockroaches into steerable cyborg bugs.

Using a light-weight microchip that is wired to the cockroach’s sensory organs, the researchers are able to control the movement of the bug with a joystick.

“Our aim was to determine whether we could create a wireless biological interface with cockroaches, which are robust and able to infiltrate small spaces,” Alper Bozkurt, an assistant professor of electrical engineering, explained in a statement.

“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.”

Bozkurt said that they had initially considered designing miniature robots, but found that creating a tiny machine that could perform in hostile and dynamic environments was enormously difficult.

Cockroaches, on the other hand, are already masters of navigating tight crevices and surviving in harsh conditions.

Watch video, courtesy of Reuters, below:

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
 
 
 
 
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