Scientists are combining the durability of cockroaches and the latest technology to create controllable biobots.
The cyborg cockroaches might eventually be used to help people that are trapped in situations where it’s dangerous, or too crowded for rescue workers to enter.
Doctor Alper Bozkurt, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at North Carolina State University who worked on the study is quoted as saying: “In a collapsed building, sound is the best way to find survivors. The goal is to use the biobots with high-resolution microphones to differentiate between sounds that matter—like people calling for help—from sounds that don’t matter—like a leaking pipe.”
The cockroaches are connected to a miniature backpack system that controls their movements, and includes a high-resolution microphone, and a wireless transmitter to relay the sounds. The technology can also keep them contained in a specific area by creating an invisible fence.
The backpacks are solar powered, so the cockroaches will be directed to the light periodically to stay charged.
Other research group have even released do-it-yourself kits to create cyborg roaches.
Bozkurt has also been working on another research project to control the movement of moths with electrodes that are implanted while the moth is still a pupa.
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