Cybernetic Roaches…

– – I, for one, would be freaked to find a remotely-controlled Madagascar hissing cockroach at large in my domicile.  One would wonder what kind of sinister intelligence would be behind it, and such a creation would represent an unnatural perversion of the already repugnant.

Scientists at the North Carolina State University have already created such a fun toy, however, by taking a lightweight chip with a wireless receiver and transmitter, and attaching it to a cockroach like a tiny backpack.  Madagascar hissing cockroaches are the roach of choice as they are large, heavy-duty, and already carry a significant gross-out factor.  With a microcontroller connected to the roach’s antennae and cerci (rear sensory organs), small electrical charges from the wires to the cerci trick the roach into moving in response to a perceived threat.  Charges sent to the antennae make the roach think that it’s bumped into something.  By utilizing both inputs, it’s possible to basically steer the cockroach.

Now what, you might ask, would you use a biobot roach for?  Well, they could be sent into tight spaces to search for survivors after disasters…but would you want to be found by such a rescue party?- -aieee!   Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, right?  Perhaps they might additionally tie small casks of brandy around the roach’s head…

Steerable roaches…that’s something new!  I think I want one for Xmas, too! 

Explore posts in the same categories: animal behavior, animals, insects, research, science, weird

3 Comments on “Cybernetic Roaches…”

  1. carycomic Says:

    Reminds me of the trained one that was used in 11 HARROW HOUSE starring Charles Grodin, James Mason, and a very young Candace Bergen. One of the most under-rated heist thrillers of the 1970’s!


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