Cyborg Beetles Take A Test Flight
Posted In: Beetles, cyborg, DARPA, robot, Test Flight, University of California
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A few years ago, there was a DARPA initiative to create cyborg insects. Now, thanks to some funding from the agency, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have controlled a rhinoceros beetle with radio signals. They demonstrated it in a flight test shown on video at this week’s IEEE MEMS 2009 conference.
Basically they put a module on the beetle that uses six electrodes affixed to the brain and muscles to hijack it’s free will. Amazingly, the device weighs only 1.3g. (A beetle can handle a 3g payload). So they still have room to attach sensors for surveillance.
One day they would like to use the beetle’s own eyes to capture intel and its own energy to power the apparatus.