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Remote control cockroaches developed

Posted on Saturday, 8 September, 2012 | Comment icon 61 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: CC 2.0 Jeremy Lock

Cyborg cockroaches that can be remote controlled may be the future for locating earthquake survivors.

Researchers at North Carolina State University have created miniature insect-based 'biobots' by freezing the creatures and then surgically implanting electrodes to their antennae. A small backpack containing the wireless control system is then attached to the insect's back using tiny magnets that are glued in place. The result is a cybernetic cockroach that can be directly controlled with surprising accuracy.

It is hoped that the cyborg insects may prove invaluable by helping to locate survivors within collapsed buildings. The insects could carry small microphones, cameras and a beacon to alert rescue crews to people trapped under the rubble.

"Cockroaches that are surgically transformed into remote-controlled "biobots" could help locate earthquake survivors in hard-to-access areas."

  View: Full article |  Source: National Geographic

  Discuss: View comments (61)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #52 Posted by Lilly on 10 September, 2012, 22:20
I really don't think cockroaches are in danger of extinction. Neither are the domestic animals humans eat. I guess one could make a moral argument regarding killing anything. Be advised though, there's some research indicating even plants may have rudimentary sensation....doesn't leave much to live on does it? Basically, nature is predatory, lifeforms use other lifeforms to live,
Comment icon #53 Posted by Junior Chubb on 10 September, 2012, 22:31
Wow! When vegans start to only eat synthetic food, what are they going to call themselves? Thetics? Hang on Lilly, are you taking us off-topic?
Comment icon #54 Posted by Lilly on 10 September, 2012, 22:38
Not trying to...trying more to focus on the natural order of things verses ones personal dietary choices. Various species use other species, that's nature. Humans using cockroaches (or other animals) isn't really contrary to nature. Now, wiping out an entire species that's contrary (pretty horrible actually).
Comment icon #55 Posted by Junior Chubb on 10 September, 2012, 22:51
Good girl, I wouldn't like to have to come down hard on you. Indeed, there are lots of relationships in the natural world, most are positive for both parties. This might not be positive for both parties, but I don't see any mistreatment going on here, well no more than with other animals we manipulate into working for us.
Comment icon #56 Posted by tipotep on 10 September, 2012, 23:07
Its a thin line and I don't agree with you but i have to admire you for your stance Personally I think it would be a good thing if it can save lives , and I'm sure the majority of people would agree . Have a great day ! ( or night ) depending on where you live . TiP.
Comment icon #57 Posted by Atlantia on 11 September, 2012, 15:43
The question is one of morality and ethics. Such concerns are not influenced by whether a species is rare or plentiful. To point out the evolutionary imperative 'survival of the fittest' is a truism, what exactly does it have to do with human concepts of morality?
Comment icon #58 Posted by Atlantia on 11 September, 2012, 15:47
Fair play. Best Regards Atlanita
Comment icon #59 Posted by Hilander on 11 September, 2012, 16:30
I have a hard time worrying about the treatment of cockroaches. They have been around forever and outlasted the dinosaurs and will probably outlast humans. What is a bigger concern to me is how will they be used.
Comment icon #60 Posted by Lilly on 11 September, 2012, 16:32
Well, my personal sense of what's moral and ethical has a great deal to do with whether a species is rare of plentiful. For example, I wouldn't hesitate to eat a domestic chicken, but I would not eat any bird on the endangered species list.

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