Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cyborg Insects

This is something very interesting. Ever thought if you could control an insect or an animal with a remote control? Sounds a bit cruel?, maybe it is, but that’s what a team of engineers at the University of California,Berkeley have already made possible. It’s a part of a program funded by the Pentagon’s Defence Advanced Research project Agency (DARPA). This project is led by Hirotaka Sato and Michel Maharbiz. The basic aim of the project is to create fully remote controlled insects. These insect will be fitted with tiny cameras looking for survivors after disaster or acting as the ultimate spy.

Basically, the team implanted electrodes into the brain and muscles of specific species of Green beetles, one african and an American one. Both respond to the simulations in almost the same way but the African species is larger and it could easily lift the weight of the electronics and the battery. This beetle can grow  as big as the size of the an average human palm.

Actually, this has been done on rats,squids before. Its being done on insects for the first time.The electrode send specific impulses to the brain this causes the insect to perform the specific tasks, like taking off landing and moving around as required  by the user. One filght lasted as long as 30 minutes which is amazing. The technology is still in devolopment stage and still needs to be perfected as the insect sometimes fail to respond to signals.
This may sound cruelty on insects, but this can even help save life's. We may be able to reach places where we could never imagine and  study in more detail. This even help analyze insect behavior.Man has been using animals for his benefit for a long time so this is not something which can be said to be cruel.
So the next time you see a beetle, you never know if somebody is spying on you. haha

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