Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Sep 6, 2012 in Science, Technology |

Researchers develop a “remote control” of insects

Today anyone was surprised to read a related story drone or drones, that is remotely controlled aircraft by a pilot that operated from a control center which can be located thousands of miles away, but the entity to control whether an animal or insect that’s something that gets a lot more attention. For some time, centers such as Harvard University and the University of Michigan have been working on the implementation of sensors and electronic systems in insects (programs funded by DARPA ) to use, for example, beetles as remote sensors with which collect data plus control at will. Implement an electronic system to an insect should not be something simple but also allows the system to control the movements of this raises quite the level of complexity of the investigation and that, in the case of the State University of North Carolina have achieved with an insect as unpopular as are the cockroaches .

A research team from the State University of North Carolina, led by Professor Alper Bozkurt , has been able to “embed” a system to the back of a cockroach (specifically on a giant cockroach from Madagascar ) with which they can control this movement and, for example, guide through a route:

Our goal was to see if we were able to create a seamless interface that could control biological and a cockroach because some insects are very robust and also can infiltrate small spaces. Such interfaces would open the door to the development of a network of intelligent sensors that cockroaches will use to collect and transmit information, for example by locating survivors in the wreckage of a building that was destroyed during an earthquake

And what can be used to control an insect? The truth is that, as we mentioned at the start and at one time or another, this type of research are not new and have been for some time working on electronic devices and piezoelectric materials that can feed on insects embedded systems to convert in biological sensors with which the enemy spy or look for survivors in an accident or a disaster or emergency. According to head of research, develop small versatile robots is a very complex task compared to the control of any living being present such versatility or adaptability therefore focused on the cockroaches before they get to work on a robot from scratch.

With a weight of 0.7 grams (and based on commercial components), the team developed a small control system (radio controlled) with a pair of electrodes that are used to send signals to antennas and abdomen of the insect, activating in this sensitive organs and emulating the same feeling that causes a change in the air flow (which makes the cockroach alert and makes him believe he is in danger because there is a predator nearby). The electrodes arranged on the antennas used to emulate the signals that alert the cockroach is facing an obstacle and, therefore, must change its path. Combining these stimuli, the system is able to control the movement and make the cockroach move within any defined path.

A very interesting research (and whose demo video worth viewing) that shows that the “spy bugs” are actually much closer to this world than to science fiction.

Tags: , , ,