Researchers make cyborg cockroaches that carry their own power packs
news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 14 October - 17:19 · 1 minute
Have you ever thought you’d be seeing a cyborg cockroach that runs on solar power and carries a backpack that looks like an electric circuit? A team of researchers at Japan’s RIKEN research institute has turned a regular Madagascar hissing cockroach into a real cyborg insect by connecting a lithium battery, a solar cell, multiple wires, and a tiny electronic circuit. The cyborg can be controlled using Bluetooth signals, and the researchers suggest that, in the future, such robo-bugs could be employed for search-and-rescue missions.
The researchers refer to their cyborg as an insect-computer hybrid system, and it incorporates a living insect as a platform and a mini-electronic system as its controller. Basically, it’s a biobot that can be controlled like a robot, but it has the power to explore and navigate a complex environment with the proficiency of an insect. The researchers claim that insect cyborgs could even beat traditional soft robots when it comes to usefully navigating the real world.
Keeping the body shape of the 6-cm-long cockroach in mind, the researchers designed a polymer backpack that could carry all the electronic equipment without disturbing the insect when it moved. The backpack carried an electronic controller, a lithium battery, and multiple wires. Each wire was connected to the controller on one side and to different legs of the cockroach on the other.