Live Cyborg Cockroach mind-controlled by scientists to survey natural disasters

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In the latest instance of scientists bordering on mad-scientist, a group has successfully created a Cyborg Cockroach. After seeing scientists use dead spiders as “necrobots”, this is far from surprising.

Reported by CNET, an international team of scientists have decided to turn living cockroaches into controllable robots. Yeah, that’s not creepy at all!

Why did they create a Cyborg Cockroach?

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Explained in the scientists’ journal in Flexible Electronics, the project aimed to control a cockroach from afar. Taking the rather sizeable Madagascan Cockroach, the team wired into the insect’s cerci to remote control it.

The scientists created a computerised backpack for the cockroach. A new solar-panelled design helps the scientists to control the insects for longer. As a follow-up to an almost decade-long experiment, it’s a huge success.

According to the report, the new backpack design lasts far longer. This means that one of the cockroaches can roam around freely… until they get remote controlled by scientists. At that point, the Cyborg Cockroach is completely under human control.

This new backpack device has a power output of 50-times that of its predecessors. Furthermore, solar panels allow it to recharge its batteries. The design is said to not hinder the animal’s movements at all.

To make the cyborg cockroach move, electricity is used. Each press of the cockroach’s controller sends a shock to the creature to make it move in the intended direction.

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Why would you ever do this?

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From the outside looking in, it seems weird that anyone would create a cyborg cockroach. However, a reason has been given for electrocuting insects and taking them over.

The scientists explain that the tech is design to monitor the environment. Furthermore, it could help with urban search and rescue missions after a natural disaster… as long as no one steps on the insects.

To do this, the scientists propose adding cameras to the insects. However, the amount of power that would require may be too much to be supported by the current backpack system.