Cyborg Cockroaches

You might want to reconsider killing that rogue cockroach under your house now, for that very cockroach might turn out to be your savior in a disaster.

These cyborg cockroaches, the work of Alper Bozkurt and his team at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, are basically real┬áMadagascar hissing cockroaches with a “backpack” strapped on. The “backpack” can hold two different types of audio sensors, a high-resolution microphone that can identify sound sources, or a 3-microphone array that gets precise locations using the amplitude information from each microphone.

The information is sent to a computer, which sends signals to the sensors. The sensors then send electric pulses to the roaches’ antennae, which stimulate the nerves, essentially simulating contact with obstacles in from of the roach, driving the roach left and right.

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