Robot Insects: Next Military Spies?

So, these are really not robots, they are cyborgs or more correctly, cybugs.  RobotNext has posted articles on robot insects or robots modeled on insects in the past.  Now, these newest robobugs are something else.  These tiny hybrid insect machines combine mechanical and living materials to achieve their abilities.  Microchips are implanted directly into the developing insects where, as the insect matures the electronics are integrated into the nervous system of the bug.  This has actually been done with moths and the moths have exhibited controlled flight while still tethered.  The next step will be independent flight.  First, the problem of power generation must be solved.  Check out the article below for more details on this intriguing project.

 Cyborg Bug

  Photo Credit:  DARPA

The HI-MEMS program at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has to date invested $12 million into research since it began in 2006. It currently supports these cybug projects:

  • Roaches at Texas A&M.
  • Horned beetles at University of Michigan and the University of California at Berkeley.
  • Moths at an MIT-led team, and another moth project at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research.

Scientists can already control the flight of real moths using implanted devices.

Powerful Ideas: Military Develops 'Cybug' Spies
Wed, 15 Jul 2009 00:42:24 GMT

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