3
   

Cockroaches With Backpacks - potential hybrid of insect and machine

 
 
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2015 08:24 pm
http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2015/03/16/393403190/what-cockroaches-with-backpacks-can-do-ah-mazing?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20150316
It's dark in here — the way they like it. If you're quiet, you can hear them squirming, chewing. They sound almost like children sucking lollipops.

Liang's colleague, Professor S. Bradley Vinson, reaches into a plastic container where roaches are hiding between wood chips, searching for one with his bare hand.

"There's one nice cockroach," he says. "See how pretty."

It's huge: 2 inches long, an inch wide, with a hard black and gold shell. Bradley turns it upside down and its six legs kick around, the hairy, prickly spines searching for something to clasp onto.

"They don't bite," Liang says reassuringly.

This breed from Latin America is slower than the ones you might see crawling under your refrigerator, but also much stronger.

"This is probably one of the larger roaches — and could pick up, you know put a heavier pack on it," Vinson says. "And it would be the ideal starting point for all this."

A "pack" as in a backpack.

The Breakthrough

Vinson is an entomologist — an insect expert. Liang is a mechanical engineer. The point of their work is to build the perfect cockroach cyborg: an animal that can crawl into tiny holes and around jagged edges with recording equipment, for surveillance, for example. Or, if there's an earthquake and a building crashes, Liang says, deploy them to the second floor for search and rescue, "so when they reach there, they can work as a vehicle. If they can carry any sensors, cameras, they can collect information for us."

Her team recently had a breakthrough, which they describe in a paper for the Royal Society.

Since at least the 1990s, scientists around the world have been trying to control the movement of roaches by planting electrodes into their antennae and sending little shocks. These shocks serve to make them think a predator is coming from the left, and so prompt them to go right.

See link for more . . .
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 767 • Replies: 10
No top replies

 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2015 08:30 pm
@edgarblythe,
I listened to that today. Really interesting.

They can make the roaches go where they want them to by giving little shocks to their legs. Helpful when trying to find people in a building.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2015 09:42 pm
@chai2,
I wonder if they could make little skate boards for em.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2015 09:54 pm
They might pilot spaceships. I can see the Martians faces now, when the roaches step out and demand "Take me to your leader."
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2015 09:55 pm
@edgarblythe,
Then someone turns on a light and its every roach for themselves .
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2015 04:43 am
@Ionus,
Not the ones in the article.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2015 06:56 am
@edgarblythe,
Cybernetic insects may become man's best friend (and greatest enemy) in the years to come.

If you could control an insect brain and read all its sensory inputs you would have an inexpensive and easily replicable army of micro-drones. Houseflies and mosquitos could become roaming surveillance systems. Dragonflies could probably carry small payloads.

I'm not sure all of this will be a good thing, but I can certainly see it changing the world.

http://wiredcosmos.com/2014/05/12/using-insects-to-advance-cybernetics/
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2015 08:29 am
If the past is any indication, military and government use against enemies will come first, with a few toys tossed out to keep the masses distracted.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2015 08:45 am
@edgarblythe,
Yes, I'm absolutely certain military uses will come first if for no other reason than it's those guys who get most of the money. Medical and exploration will probably come after that.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2015 12:37 am
What ever happened to dogs that smell dead or living bodies and rats that find people in rubble ? I hope they are still proceeding with those too . We dont get many disasters here apart from bush fires and floods so a lot of advances in earthquake rescue are under reported .
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2015 10:13 am
@Ionus,
cadaver dogs are quite common in the US police forces. We seem to collect a lot of hidden cadavers.

As far as the rats, I don't know

0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

New Propulsion, the "EM Drive" - Question by TomTomBinks
The Science Thread - Discussion by Wilso
Why do people deny evolution? - Question by JimmyJ
Are we alone in the universe? - Discussion by Jpsy
Fake Science Journals - Discussion by rosborne979
Controvertial "Proof" of Multiverse! - Discussion by littlek
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Cockroaches With Backpacks - potential hybrid of insect and machine
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 09/22/2019 at 04:22:42