- 14 Mar 2002
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Researchers have engineered a system for creating remote-controlled cyborg cockroaches equipped with a tiny wireless control module powered by a rechargeable battery attached to a solar cell. Cyborg insects—part insect, part machine—can help inspect hazardous areas and monitor the environment. Handlers must be able to control them remotely for long stretches of time. This entails wireless control of their leg segments, powered by a tiny rechargeable battery.
Japanese scientists create remote-controlled cockroach | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News
Researchers in Japan have developed a system that can remotely control insects. They say it can be used to help find people trapped during natural disasters.
Led by Kenjiro Fukuda, RIKEN CPR, the team experimented with Madagascar cockroaches, which are approximately 6 cm long. They attached the wireless leg-control module and lithium polymer battery to the top of the insect on the thorax using a specially designed backpack, which was modeled after the body of a model cockroach. The backpack was 3D printed with an elastic polymer and conformed perfectly to the curved surface of the cockroach, allowing the rigid electronic device to be stably mounted on the thorax for more than a month. The ultrathin 0.004 mm thick organic solar cell module was mounted on the dorsal side of the abdomen. "The body-mounted ultrathin organic solar cell module achieves a power output of 17.2 mW, which is more than 50 times larger than the power output of current state-of-the art energy harvesting devices on living insects," according to Fukuda.