July 9, 2013
Remember this story about remote-controlled cockroaches? Well, the research team who made that story possible has kept at it, and they've improved the process so the roaches are a bit easier to keep on track if sent on a “rescue mission.”
Using video game technology, researchers have figured out how to put the roaches on autopilot, directing them along a pre-designed path. They hope that one day, the technology could be used to send the bugs into areas that are unsafe for humans to enter, such as collapsed buildings or other disaster areas.
And by fitting the roaches with microphones and speakers, rescuers could detect the voices of individuals trapped in buildings, researchers said.
"We may even be able to attach small speakers, which would allow rescuers to communicate with anyone who is trapped," said co-author Alper Bozkurt…
Read the full story: Researchers Use Video Game Software to Steer Cockroaches
What do you think? Does it give you the heebie-jeebies? Or do you think it’s cool? I’m intrigued, especially with their idea of attaching tiny microphones and speakers so rescuers could communicate with trapped victims. Although, it might be a good idea for the first thing to come out of the speakers to be, “Please don’t smash the cockroach, it’s going to help us rescue you…”
Just in case.