The new robot is based on the movements of real cockroaches. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Thomas Quine
The miniature surveillance robot looks just like a cockroach and can be used to spy on enemy activities.
Researchers have previously experimented with the idea of controlling insects using electrodes implanted in their brains, but now scientists in Russia have come up with a unique approach that enables the same type of functionality but without having to involve any live specimens.
Developed at the Baltic Federal Immanuel Kant University, the new contraption looks remarkably similar to a cockroach but is in fact completely robotic. Its design is intended to help camouflage it during surveillance activities while enabling it to collect as much intelligence data as possible.
The current prototype is approximately four inches long, can travel at a speed of twelve inches per second and lasts about twenty minutes on a single charge of its batteries. The team who built it however is hoping to significantly improve its operational lifespan over the coming months.
With the capacity to carry a small camera and the ability to squeeze in to tiny spaces it is believed that the Russian military are very interested in using the robot for surveillance purposes.
There is also interest from search and rescue services as the robot could be used to climb through debris after a disaster to help pinpoint the location of trapped survivors.