Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cyborg Beetles Coming to a meatspace near you!

During MEMS 2009, a Micro Electro Mechanical Systems conference taking place in Sorrento (near Naples in Italy), researchers from UC Berkeley demonstrated a crude version of a wireless system to control a live rhinoceros beetle. The beetles' movements were controlled via electrodes installed in the insect's brain during the larval stage. These cyborg insects can carry up to 3 grams of gear in flight (the macro fabricated control module fused to their carapace weighs ~1 gram). Military version feature MEMS with both nanoscale control module and bugs with genetically enhanced carriages (ie, larger bodies, more motor musculature).

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