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: