Cockroach-Controlled Mobile Robot

Garnet Hertz has created a cockroach-controlled mobile robot. A hybrid biorobotic system, the robot consists of a mechanical system that amplifies and translates the bodily movements of a live giant hissing Madagascar cockroach.


(From Communication in the Animal and the Machine)

The cockroach essentially drives the robot by sitting on top of a ping pong ball that actuates the movement of the robot. When the robot detects an object in front of it, one of a set of lights goes on in front of the cockroach, stimulating it to move.


(From Communication in the Animal and the Machine)

"This project also strives to completely hand over the computational logic of the mobile robot to the insect system operator: this project will provide no "middleware" to obfuscate or sanitize the intentions of the insect. As a result of this, this project will strive to not use any microcontrollers or complex logic. In essence, this device will be built primarily with pre-microprocessor (1940-era) circuitry which will also provide an anachronistic perspecitve on Weinerian Cybernetics and pre-AI/ALife hybrid/embodied-logic systems that never came to pass.

This animal-controlled system is also meant to be framed within the context of embodiment, intelligence, hybridity and posthumanism. While posthumanism tends to view humanity's self-reflective referenc e point as significantly shifted as a result of technology, this project can be viewed as affirmation or rejection of posthuman theory; either human and computational logic can be replaced with the rugged, viseral, and adaptive logic of the cockroach, or the cockroach can be viewed as the ultimate "posthuman": proof that technology has forced a re-calculation of humanity to itself, rendering the Kafkan cockroach body as a better model of intelligence than standard human embodiment within contemporary culture."
(From Communication in the Animal and the Machine)

SF author Frank Herbert often combined hard science with animal capacity - see the entry for distrans from Dune.

Update 20-Dec-2015

Vernor Vinge wrote about a strange race in his 1992 novel A Fire Upon the Deep:

Ravna looked across the surf. When the waves backed down the sand, she could see the Skroderiders' fronds peeping out of the spray... They sat in the surf, thinking thoughts that left no imprint on their minds...

Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to "help them out." Someone had put them on mobile platforms, the skrodes. With wheels they could move along the seashores, could reach and manipulate with their fronds and tendrils. With the skrode's mechanical short-term memory, they could learn fast enough that their new mobility would not kill them...

End update.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/30/2004)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 7 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

X2-VelociRoACH Cooperates To Launch Tiny Drones
Little robots cooperating can do big tasks. Eventually.

An 'Ethical Black Box' For Robots?
Explored by science fiction authors.

Kino Project Roaming Personal Fashion Robots
'Most of the crew have the tiny imp ride on their shoulder...' - Robert Forward, 1985.

First Crewless Ship? Umm
Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Will A Steel Umbrella Stop Russia?
'Everyone was aware that the damned platform was wandering around in its own orbit...'

EVE Artificial Womb For Lambs (For Now)
'In the crimson darkness, stewing warm on their cushion of peritoneum and gorged with blood-surrogate and hormones...'

TIKAD Armed Drone Ready To Fight
'Each a television eye and a sonic stunner...'

Bees Royal Jelly Helps Wounds Heal Faster
'An alien drug... used by an insect race.'

NASA Wants To Make Oxygen On Mars
'They plop down on the Red and if the dust is deep enough ... they burrow in...'

Hackers Insert Malware Into DNA
'They tied the memory to the bloodline and that was their record!'

X2-VelociRoACH Cooperates To Launch Tiny Drones
Little robots cooperating can do big tasks. Eventually.

'Do Not Pay' Chatbots To Replace Law Firm Associates?
'I want my lawyer program.'

MULTI Model Of Star Trek Turbolift
Cool prototype video!

A Look Into The Future Of Spacecraft!
Ever wonder how you look when you enter a new part of a spacecraft?

An 'Ethical Black Box' For Robots?
Explored by science fiction authors.

Dadbot Digital Immortality
'A hardwired ROM cassette replicating a dead man's skills...'

Should We Permit Computers To Create Their Own Language?
'Talk Between Robots radio...'

Breakthrough Starshot Sprites Yearn For Alpha Centauri
'Whoever launched it fired a laser cannon...'

Kino Project Roaming Personal Fashion Robots
'Most of the crew have the tiny imp ride on their shoulder...'

Astronaut Exercise Video, Predicted By SF Writers
'Joe got out the gravity-simulator harnesses.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.